Fostering Complex Math and Science

  • Prosperity
  • 1994

James Simons was a mathematician before he earned billions operating a hedge fund, and since he and his wife Marilyn established their charitable foundation in 1994 their philanthropy has focused on advancing mathematics and science research. Particular interests include physics, autism, genetic puzzles, quantitative biology (see 2000 entry on our list of achievements in Medicine), cosmology, esoteric math, and math education (see 2004 entry describing Math for America on the Education achievements list). Simons raised $13 million to allow completion of a major experiment on the particle accelerator of Brookhaven Lab after budget problems threatened an early shutdown. The Simons Foundation created a popular math museum in New York City, and a world science festival. Over a several-year period, Simons has donated more than $105 million to Stony Brook University to build up its math and physics departments. His foundation has so far