King of the American hedge fund managers and billionaire founder of the Renaissance Technologies, Dr. James H. Simons is a 71 years old American mathematician. Born as a son of a shoe factory owner, Simons attended the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology and earned PhD at University of California, Berkeley, where he emerged as a promising mathematician in academics. Settled into a life of research and teaching, he spent number of years teaching at Harvard and MIT.
Famous for his work as a cryptanalyst for Department of Defense, to break the military codes during Vietnam War, Simons won the American Mathematical Society's Veblen Prize. Later, he earned fame in the world of theoretical physics for his research and theory known as Chern-Simons invariants, and became the chairman of the math department at Stony Brook. Simons established Renaissance Technologies in 1982, a private technology driven investment firm dedicated to the use of mathematics. He used his mathematical prowess to develop new trading techniques, and expanded his hedge fund to be the largest, managing more than $35 billion, including his famed $6 billion Medallion fund.
This art lover mathematician’s office is decorated with paintings of ancient Greeks like Archimedes and Socrates teaching mathematics. Bearded Simons is known to be a secretive person who typically avoids the press, and strictly prohibits his employees to discuss any kind of Renaissance trading strategy or appropriating any trade secrets. Philanthropic Simons donates a considerable amount to math and science programs, including a record setting $60 million to Stony Brook University and $50 million to Math for America, a foundation aimed to improve basic science and math education in cities.
He’s also been a big donor in the research field of autism, a disease which afflicts his younger daughter, and also manages Simons Foundation, a charitable organization devoted to scientific research. Married twice, Simons has three children, and now lives in Manhattan with his wife Marilyn Hawrys Simons and daughter Audrey, other children lives in California and manages their father’s business.