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Silvia De Toffoli. Curriculum Vitae. Current position: Ph.D. student in philosophy at Stanford University. Supervisor: Thomas Ryckman.


Academic year: 2021

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Silvia De Toffoli

Curriculum Vitae

Last Updated: 22 marzo 2015

Email: silvia.detoffoli@gmail.com silviadt@stanford.edu

Tel.: +1-406-539-3336

Address: 165 Duboce Ave, Apt. 303 94103 San Francisco, USA

Date of Birth: August 2, 1984

Place of Birth: Venice

Citizenship: Italian

Maritial Status: Single

Current position: Ph.D. student in philosophy at Stanford University.

Supervisor: Thomas Ryckman.

I obtained a Ph.D. in mathematics with distinction on June 4, 2013 at the Technical University of Berlin under the supervision of John M. Sullivan. Afterwards I have been a research scholar at Montana State University. Since September 2014 I am doing a second Ph.D. in philosophy at Stanford.

Interests: philosophy of mathematics, diagrammatic reasoning, visualization, knot theory, low-dimensional topology, algebraic topology.


Doktorarbeit in mathematics (Ph.D.)

Member of the graduate program: Berlin Mathematical School. Technische Universit¨at Berlin, Germany. Date: 04/06/2013. Final mark: magna cum laude.

Certificate of Distinction from Berlin Mathematical School. Thesis in knot theory: Degrees of essentiality for secants of knots.

Advisor: John M. Sullivan, Technische Universit¨at Berlin.

Laurea specialistica in mathematics (Master)


Mark’s mean: 29.7/30. Final mark: 110/110summa cum laude. Thesis in topology: Different flavors of the Poincar´e homology sphere.

Advisors: Luca Migliorini, University of Bologna and Patrick Popescu-Pampu, University of Paris 7.

Laurea triennale in mathematics (Bachelor)

University of Bologna, Italy. Date: 15/12/2006.

Mark’s mean: 29.9/30. Final mark: 110/110summa cum laude.

Thesis in algebraic topology: Il gruppo fondamentale di uno spazio di orbite

(The fundamental group of an orbit space). Advisor: Mirella Manaresi, University of Bologna.

International Experiences

Technische Universit¨at Berlin, Germany (4 years)

Academic years: 2009-20013. Graduate studies in mathematics.

Project and scholarship: Ph.D. in mathematics, Berlin Mathematical School.

Universit´e Paris7-Denis Diderot, France (1 year)

Academic year: 2007-2008. Master studies in mathematics. Project and scholarship: Erasmus.

Studies of algebra, algebraic topology, spectral analysis, set theory and calculability.

University of Calgary, Canada (1 year)

Academic year: 2004-2005. Undergraduate studies in mathematics.

Project and scholarship: TASSEP (Transatlantic Science Student Exchange Program).

Studies of algebra, geometry, calculus, probabilities and history of sciences.


Envisioning Transformations – The Practice of Topology (with V. Giardino). To be published in a collection of papers edited by B. Larvor based on three conferences on Mathematical Cultures. To appear under the Birkh¨auser Science imprimatur of the Springer group. Forthcoming.

An inquiry into the practice of proving in low-dimensional topology (with V. Giardino), in:“From Logic to Practice”. Eds: G. Lolli, M. Panza, G. Venturi. Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science, Volume 308, pp. 315-336, 2015.


Degrees of Essentiality for Secants of Knots, Ph.D. Thesis, Universit¨atsbibliothek der Technischen Universit¨at Berlin, 2013.

Einf¨uhrung in Meta-Vermeer: Experimentelle Studien ¨uber originale und manipulierte Bilder (with Y. Sakamoto), Das Licht im Zeitalter von Rembrandt und Vermeer, Ein Handbuch der Forschumgruppe Historische Lichtgef¨uge, pp. 50-53, Jovis, 2012.

Meta-Vermeer: A Topological Reinterpretation of a Masterpiece (with Y. Sakamoto). Proceedings of Bridges 2012: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture, pp. 499-502.

Work in Progress

Diagrams in Homological Algebra.

Diagrams - From Topology to Algebra (with Valeria Giardino).

Degrees of Essentiality for Secants of Knots (with John M. Sullivan).

3-manifolds via Archimedean Solids (with Agnese Telloni).


‘Diagram Chase’ Techniques–The Use of Space in Algebraic Reasoning, Proofs and Pictures Conference, University of South Carolina, Columbia, 20 March 2015.

What is a Rational Tangle?, What is? Seminar, Berlin Mathematical School, 8 February 2013.

La dinamica dei diagrammi in teoria dei nodi (with V. Giardino), Filosofia della matematica: dalla logica alla pratica, SNS Pisa, 24-36 September 2012.

Roles and Forms of Diagrams in Knot Theory (with V. Giardino), SIFA International Conference, Alghero, 13-15 September 2012.

Low-dimensional topology as visual mathematics (with V. Giardino), Mathematical Cultures Conference 1, London, 10-13 September 2012.

Die epistemische Rollen von Diagrammen in der Topologie, Kolloquium von Sybille Kr¨amer, Berlin, 19 June 2012.

Diagrammes et Illustrations en Topologie: Le Cas des Nœuds (with V. Giardino), SOPHA International Conference, ENS, Paris, 5 May 2012.


Knot Moves: A Case Study on Diagram Dynamics, Work in Progress Seminar, Munich Center of Mathematical Philosophy, 19 January 2012.

Use and Epistemic Roles of Diagrams in Knot Theory, Philosophy Seminar,

Departamento de Filosof´ıa, L´ogica y Filosof´ıa de la Ciencia, Universidad de Sevilla, 15 November 2011.

What is a Seifert Surface?, What is? Seminar, Berlin Mathematical School, 4 December 2009.


Algebraic Topology, graduate class MA512, SS 2013-14, MSU Bozeman.

Topology, exercise session of a master course in algebraic topology, WS 2010-11, BMS course, TU Berlin.


[Poster] Sakamoto, Y., De Toffoli, S.: Beauty of the structure of light: a computer scientific simulation of “The Girl with the Wine Glass” In: Beauty and Value, Meeting in Neuroesthetics organized by Semir Zeki and Ray Dolan, 15-16 October 2013.

[Installation Art] Sakamoto, Y., and De Toffoli, S.: Meta-Vermeer. In Exhibition: Lictgef¨uge - Das Licht im Zeitalter von Rembrandt und Vermeer [The Structure of Light - Light in the time of Rembrant and Vermeer] at the Alte Gem¨aldegalerie Alte Meister in Schloss Wilhelmsh¨ohe, Kassel (Germany), from the 18th November 2011 to the 4th March 2012.

[Popularization of mathematics book] Margot De Rosa (pseudonym for Silvia De Toffoli), Dario De Toffoli, Dario Zaccariotto [book, pp. 246]: Numeri. Divagazioni, calcoli, giochi. Stampa Alternativa, Viterbo, 2008. (Prefazioni di Stefano Bartezzaghi).

Grants, Awards and Positions

2014-2019: Ph.D. scholarship from Stanford University.

2013-2014: Research and Teaching Position at MSU Bozeman.

2013: Certificate of Distinction from the Berlin Mathematical School for the Ph.D. thesis “Degrees of essentiality for secants of knots”.


2012-2013: Wissenschaflicher Mitarbeiter (Research Fellow) of the research group Discretization in Geometry and Dynamics at the TU Berlin.

2009-2012: Doctoral Fellowship from the Berlin Mathematical School at the TU Berlin. 2009: Fellowship from the Berlin Mathematical School, Phase I Student.

2007-2008: Erasmus scholarship from the University of Bologna.

2005-2006: Grant for academic achievements from University of Bologna (“Incentivi studenti terzo anno, per merito”).

2004-2005: TASSEP (Transatlantic Science Student Exchange Program) exchange support grant.


Member of the Association for the Philosophy of Mathematical Practice (APMP). Member of the Italian Network for the Philosophy of Mathematics (FilMat). Member of the Italian Society of Analytic Philosophy (SIFA).

Member of the Francophone Society for Analytic Philosophy (SOPHA).

Language Skills

Italian: mother tongue

English: excellent (TOEFL 113/120, date: 19/10/13)

French: excellent (C1 certificate of the CEFR)

German: fluent (C1 certificate of the CEFR)



G¨unter Abel

Professor of Philosophy Technical University of Berlin


Marcus Giaquinto Professor of Philosophy

University College London (UCL)

m.giaquinto@ucl.ac.uk Dagfinn Føllesdall Professor of Philosophy Stanford University d.k.follesdal@ifikk.uio.no Øystein Linnebo Professor of Philosophy Birkbeck College London

o.linnebo@bbk.ac.uk Kenneth Manders Professor of Philosophy University of Pittsburgh mandersk@pitt.edu Luca Migliorini Professor of Geometry University of Bologna migliori@dm.unibo.it Patrick Popescu-Pampu Professor of Geometry University of Lille patrick.popescu@math.univ-lille1.fr John M. Sullivan Professor of Geometry

Technical University of Berlin


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