Jim Simons

Philanthropist, mathematician
After astonishing success as a mathematician, code breaker and billionaire hedge fund manager, Jim Simons is mastering yet another field: philanthropy.

Why you should listen

As a mathematician who cracked codes for the National Security Agency on the side, Jim Simons had already revolutionized geometry -- and incidentally laid the foundation for string theory -- when he began to get restless. Along with a few hand-picked colleagues he started the investment firm that went on to become Renaissance, a hedge fund working with hitherto untapped algorithms, and became a billionaire in the process.

Now retired as Renaissance’s CEO, Simons devotes his time to mathematics and philanthropy. The Simons Foundation has committed more than a billion dollars to math and science education and to autism research.

What others say

“Whether Simons is building charities, plotting strategies or contemplating his own legacy, it always comes back to the math.” — Bloomberg, January 2008

Jim Simons’ TED talk

More news and ideas from Jim Simons

Live from TED

Machines that learn: A recap of Session 3 at TED2015

March 17, 2015

Chris Anderson introduces Session 3 with a compelling idea: “Most of the new things happening right now that feel like magic — whether it’s self-driving cars or online translations suddenly getting much better — there’s machine learning behind it.” In this session we look at the issues around machines that learn. The challenge of teaching […]

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