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James Simons Named S. Donald Sussman Fellow by MIT Sloan

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 17, 2018 – The MIT Sloan School of Management recently announced that MIT alumnus James (“Jim”) Simons, a mathematician and founder of Renaissance Technologies, was named the recipient of the S. Donald Sussman Fellowship. The Fellowship is awarded to individuals or groups who exhibit innovation and excellence in quantitative investment strategies and models. Simons was selected for his remarkable contributions to this field, as well as his work in mathematics and his active support for fundamental scientific research.

“We are pleased to honor Dr. Simons with this Fellowship in recognition of his extraordinary career as a mathematician, investor, and philanthropist,” says MIT Sloan Dean David Schmittlein.

MIT Sloan Prof. Andrew Lo, director of MIT Sloan’s Laboratory for Financial Engineering and a member of the Fellowship committee, notes, “Jim Simons is a living legend in several fields and exemplifies the very best of quantitative investing; this was an easy decision and we’re grateful to him for accepting this award.”

Simons says, “I am honored to receive the Sussman Fellowship and very much look forward to returning to MIT for these visits and discussions.”

After founding the highly quantitative investment firm Renaissance Technologies in 1982, Simons served as CEO for over 30 years before becoming board chair. Previously, he was chairman of the Mathematics Department at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Earlier in his career, he was a cryptanalyst at the Institute of Defense Analyses in Princeton, and taught mathematics at MIT and Harvard University.

Simons holds a B.S. in mathematics from MIT and a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of California at Berkeley. His scientific research was in the area of geometry and topology. He received the American Mathematical Society Veblen Prize in Geometry in 1975 for work that involved a recasting of the subject of area minimizing multidimensional surfaces. His most influential research involved the discovery and application of certain geometric measurements, now called the Chern-Simons Invariants, which have wide use, particularly in theoretical physics.

In addition, Simons serves as chairman of the Simons Foundation, an organization dedicated to advancing the frontiers of research in mathematics and the basic sciences. The Foundation’s programs support investigators in mathematics and the physical sciences, theoretical computer science, life science, autism research and programs in outreach and education. The Simons Foundation has also launched a substantial number of Simons Collaborations, a new funding model that brings scientists together — often from different disciplines — to address important questions in basic science that are ripe for solution. Most recently, in 2017, the foundation inaugurated its in-house scientific unit, the Flatiron Institute, whose mission is to advance scientific research through computational methods, including data analysis, modeling and simulation.

Simons is also the founder and chairman of Math for America, a nonprofit organization with a mission to significantly improve math education in our nation’s public schools. He serves as trustee of Brookhaven National Laboratory, the Institute for Advanced Study, Rockefeller University, the New York Genome Center, Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques, and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley. He is a member of the Board of the MIT Corporation and chair emeritus of the Stony Brook Foundation. Simons is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and the National Academy of Sciences.

About the S. Donald Sussman Fellowship

The Fellowship is named in honor of S. Donald Sussman, who has worked in alternative investments for more than 30 years and manages funds that focus on both quantitative and fundamental strategies. He is the founder of Trust Asset Management, the Paloma Funds, and New China Capital Management LLC. Sussman was the recipient of Institutional Investor’s Alternative Investment News Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004. He is a member of the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee, and co-chair of the Investment Committee of Carnegie Hall. He attended Columbia College and received a B.S. and an MBA from New York University.

The Sussman Fellowship is overseen by the MIT Sloan Finance Group. Sussman Fellows receive a $100,000 cash prize and share their insights on quantitative finance and the financial industry through three public lectures to be delivered at MIT Sloan during the year of the award.

The MIT Sloan School of Management is where smart, independent leaders come together to solve problems, create new organizations, and improve the world. Learn more at mitsloan.mit.edu.