Sally, The Amazing Dancing Mathematician

This page is rather out of date, but I'm attempting to get it into some sort of presentable shape (December 2001).
In case you are wondering how one achieves the status of "Amazing Dancing Mathematician," I'll give you a brief autobiography. I was born in San Francisco. I grew up in Berkeley, California, the first child of a pair of math teachers. When I was around 10 or so my mother returned to graduate school and got 3 more degrees before I finished high school--2 master's degrees and a PhD. She had been taking modern dance since her college days, but I did not want to dance. I attended Berkeley High, where I was heavily interested in science and theatre; I learned to tap dance for P.E. credit!

I got my B.S. in mathematics at Yale University . I loved it there but hated the weather. (Luckily, I was able to escape after graduation to return to beautiful sunny California.) However, while still at Yale I discovered the beauty of mathematics, and in spite of a few discouraging professors I decided that I had found my calling. My senior year, I danced in a tap dance piece in a student-run dance show. My roommate Kate dubbed me "The Amazing Dancing Mathematician," but I think she was jumping the gun a little bit.

I became a graduate student at UCSD in mathematics. I quickly adjusted to life in San Diego. Perfect climate, great Mexican food, what more could you ask for?

When I arrived there, I took up modern dance, little suspecting what a passion it would become. My favorite San Diego teachers are Jean Isaacs, who changed my life, and Tonnie Sammartano, who is incredibly inspiring. Later, I became more interested in post-modern dance, and learned as much as I could from the women of Lower Left.

In 1999, much to my own surprise, I finished my degree in math. So you can call me "Dr. Sally" (but I'll still answer to just plain "Sally"). Perhaps you'd like to read my thesis. (If you can't read pdf files, here's a postscript version.)

I'm no longer in school, and I can't tell you how weird that is. But I'm still dancing! I spent a year teaching at UCSD (and pretending I hadn't actually graduated, except when I was actually teaching), and then a year as a Visiting Professor of Mathematics at Cal State San Marcos. I loved teaching there, and I still miss the students, but teaching was intensely stressful for me and I decided that I needed to try another type of work.

In 2001 I went to Italy (photo album) for 6 weeks, fell in love with the country, and decided to try to go back for a longer period of time (a year or two?).

After 2 months staying at my parents' house in Berkeley (rediscovering my love for the Bay Area, and taking fabulous dance classes at Shawl-Anderson), I finally moved to Italy in late April 2002. I spent another month at Scuola Italia (the same school I went to in the summer of 2001) becoming considerably more proficient in the language, and then I moved to Rome, where I now live. I work for the local public health department and am learning to do (applied) statistics.

You should meet some of my friends.

Here's a picture of me, but don't worry, I don't dress like that every day. Also my hair is never that long.

Sally Picciotto / sallypicciotto (at) yahoo (dot) com