About me


My History


Hello. My name is Simon Rubinstein-Salzedo. I was born on June 17th, 1985. I live in Sunnyvale, California, which is about 50 miles south of San Francisco. I am soon to be a first year graduate student in mathematics at Stanford University. Previously, I attended University of California at Santa Barbara’s College of Creative Studies as a mathematics major and a music minor. Before that, I attended Homestead High School for my high school days, Challenger School for my middle school years, and the Mid-Peninsula Jewish Community Day School for elementary school.




I have always loved mathematics. In my elementary school years, I would spend hours calculating endless numbers of Fibonacci numbers by hand, when I was not memorizing literally hundreds of digits of pi (about 300 of which I still remember now). At that time, I also wanted to learn calculus, but without the mathematical background, of course it was impossible.

In junior high school, I was noted at the 8th grade graduation for being the only student that my math teacher ever knew who would read math books during spare time. By this time, I became interested in generating a function that would yield digits of pi, and, it was hoped, one that wasn't too famous. After that, I decided to make a bunch of theorems of Euclidean geometry that were not to be found in texts of geometry. For the most part, these theorems were surprising, but easy to prove. Other than that, I also liked to read books on such advanced topics as the proof of Fermat's Last Theorem.

When I came to high school, I quickly located the math competitions club. Shortly after that, I began going to local math contests. At first, I performed very badly. I had no experience. However, I did not give up. I continued to attend math contests, just assuming that through experience I would improve. Well, I did start to improve, but I was not satisfied. I began to get problem books that taught contest strategy. I spent most of my time going over past contests that I located on the Internet. Now I have seen a vast improvement of my mathematical ability. I continue to put in time on solving math contests, but eventually, it became harder to obtain such contests, as I had already found most of them.

Eventually I started to spend more time on more advanced mathematics, particularly analysis and number theory. The amazing connections between the zeros of the Riemann zeta function and prime numbers never cease to amaze me, even though my knowledge on the subject is only a tiny sliver of what is known to others. Throughout college, I became increasingly interested in various branches of mathematics, but my favorite is algebraic number theory. I plan to specialize in algebraic number theory in graduate school and beyond.

For a few years, I was an assistant instructor at The Art of Problem Solving, a company that helps students learn more about mathematics than is normally possible in a high school.

I attended two terrific summer camps for students who enjoy mathematics when I was a high school student. In the summer of 2001, I attended Stanford University Mathematics Camp, commonly known as SUMaC. In the summer of 2002, I attended the Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program, commonly abbreviated to MOP.




I also play chess, but I am not too good at it. I was taught the rules of chess at the age of six by the father of a friend of mine. At that time, the game did not interest me at all. However, I became curious about chess at the time of the Kasparov – Deep Blue rematch in 1997. At that time, I decided that I wanted to play chess again, so I started reading books on chess strategy. Eventually I became somewhat better, but since I stopped reading chess books and working hard at it, I have not improved very much. I enjoy playing on the Internet Chess Club under the nickname ComplexZeta. I am also a member of the United States Chess Federation, and my current rating is 1779. In the 2002 California Championship, I tied for first out of about 60 people in the Class D section, taking second on tiebreak, with a score of 5 out of 6. In the 2003 California Championship, I played up a section in Class B and tied for second place with a score of 4.5 out of 6. Here are a few of my better over-the-board games.




Music has always been very important to me. My mother, who is a music teacher, encouraged me from a young age to play music. When I was six, I started playing the piano. I continue playing piano to this day, and not too long ago, I gave a recital, mainly on the piano, to signify my graduation from high school. When I was nine years old, I started on the cello, which I also still play. Since I began playing the cello, I have been playing in orchestras, including the El Camino Youth Symphony, the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, and the UCSB symphony orchestra.

I am also interested in counterpoint, which I studied with Joel Feigin at UCSB. Here are a few pieces I have written. I also enjoy studying musicology.


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