About Jim and Marilyn Simons
Dr. James H. Simons
Dr. James H. Simons is president of Euclidean Capital, a family office, and founder and board chair of Renaissance Technologies LLC, a highly quantitative investment firm from which he retired in 2009 after serving as its CEO for more than 30 years. Previously he was chairman of the Department of Mathematics at Stony Brook University. Earlier in his career he was a cryptanalyst at the Institute for Defense Analyses in Princeton, N.J., and taught mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University.
Dr. Simons holds a B.S. in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of California at Berkeley. His scientific research was in the area of geometry and topology. In 1975 he received the American Mathematical Society’s Veblen Prize in Geometry for work that involved a recasting of the subject of area minimizing multidimensional surfaces. A consequence was the settling of two classical questions, the Bernstein Conjecture and the Plateau Problem. Dr. Simons’ most influential research involved the discovery and application of certain geometric measurements, now called the Chern-Simons Invariants, which have widespread use, particularly in theoretical physics.
Dr. Simons is the founder and chairman of Math for America, a nonprofit organization with a mission to improve math education significantly in our nation’s public schools. He serves as trustee of Brookhaven National Laboratory, the Institute for Advanced Study, The Rockefeller University, and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley. He also is a member of the board of the MIT Corporation and chair emeritus of the Stony Brook Foundation. Together with his wife, Marilyn, Dr. Simons manages the Simons Foundation, a charitable organization primarily devoted to scientific research.
In addition to Math for America, the Foundation’s philanthropic activities include a major research initiative on the causes of autism and the recent establishment of an institute for research in mathematics and theoretical physics. The Foundation is particularly interested in the growing interface between the physical and life sciences and has established and endowed several such research programs at universities and institutions both in the U.S. and abroad. Dr. Simons and his wife also have privately launched and funded a countrywide health care and training program in Nepal.
Dr. Marilyn Hawrys Simons
Dr. Marilyn Hawrys Simons is president of the Simons Foundation, an organization whose primary mission is to support advanced research in mathematics and science. Under the leadership of Dr. Simons and her husband, Jim, the Foundation has grown rapidly since its inception in 1994 to become one of the country’s leading funders of basic scientific research.
In addition to her work at the Foundation, Dr. Simons actively supports numerous not-for-profit organizations in New York City and on Long Island. She is president of the board of the LearningSpring School, a New York City-based school for children diagnosed on the autism spectrum. In addition, she leads the Committee on Trustees at the East Harlem Tutorial Program, an after-school program in East Harlem. Her philanthropic work on Long Island includes serving as a vice president of the board of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, an outstanding research facility specializing in molecular biology and genetics. Previously, Dr. Simons has served on the boards of the Churchill School and Planned Parenthood of Suffolk County.
Dr. Simons and her husband are active members of the Stony Brook community, where they met, married, and started their family before moving to New York City in the early 1990s. Their support to the University reaches across numerous disciplines, including mathematics, physics, music and the arts, medicine, health care, anthropology, and economics. Dr. Simons received a B.A. and Ph.D. in economics from Stony Brook University.