Jim Simons, the Numbers King

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Jim Simons, the Numbers King

Jim and Marilyn Simons became major charitable donors in the nineteen-nineties, when they launched their foundation. They have funded a math center at Stony Brook, and a center for computer science at Berkeley. The foundation has also given grants—for autism research, for a giant telescope in Chile that will hunt for gravitational waves from the big bang—that are collectively worth two and a half billion dollars. But Simons’s role in these projects was relatively limited, and when he retired he found himself spending most of his time managing his charitable assets and evaluating grant applications. During this period, his loved ones sensed that he was less happy. 

Simons seeks to heighten the foundation’s impact on the sciences. The Simons Foundation has channelled hundreds of millions of dollars into autism research—seventy-five million dollars this year alone...


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