On March 14, 2019, Albert Einstein's 140th birthday, the Institute for Advanced Study held the inaugural IAS Einstein Gala to honor trailblazing mathematician, investor, and philanthropist Jim Simons. A former Member in the School of Mathematics, founder of Renaissance Technologies, and Chair of the Simons Foundation, Simons was recognized with the IAS Bamberger Medal for his extraordinary service on the Institute’s Board of Trustees, his visionary support of the Institute’s mission, and his deep awareness of the essential need for basic research across the sciences and humanities.
Simons is the first recipient of the IAS Bamberger Medal, which recognizes visionary philanthropy in the spirit of Louis Bamberger and Caroline Bamberger Fuld, the brother and sister who founded and endowed the Institute in 1930, providing for its lasting and essential independence. Simons was honored for his active engagement in the intellectual life and development of the Institute, and his generous support of basic research around the world.
The New York event, which raised $3.5 million to support basic research at IAS, was attended by more than 550 leaders from the worlds of business, philanthropy, technology, art, and academia, among them Ellen Futter, Larry Gagosian, Vartan Gregorian, Jeff Koons, Eric Schmidt, Diana Taylor, James and Merryl Tisch, and Sir James and Elaine Wolfensohn. The program featured an interview with Simons by Master of Ceremonies and IAS Trustee David Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Chairman of The Carlyle Group and host of The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations on Bloomberg TV and PBS; a musical performance by cellist Zoë Keating curated by IAS Artist-in-Residence and Pulitzer Prize–winning composer David Lang; and “Einstein’s Dream,” a multimedia presentation by Robbert Dijkgraaf, IAS Director and Leon Levy Professor. Watch the video created in honor of Jim Simons.