Past Member

James Simons


James H. Simons is Chair of the Simons Foundation, which is dedicated to advancing the frontiers of research in mathematics and the basic sciences. Prior to founding Renaissance Technologies, a highly quantitative investment firm, in 1982, Simons was a cryptanalyst at the Institute of Defense Analyses in Princeton, taught mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, and chaired the mathematics department at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Founder and Chair of Math for America, a nonprofit organization dedicated to significantly improving math education in public schools, Simons is Trustee Emeritus of the Institute for Advanced Study's Board of Trustees, which he joined in 2001.  

Simons's most influential research involves the discovery and application of certain geometric measurements, now called the Chern-Simons invariants, which have wide use, particularly in theoretical physics. 

Dates at IAS
  • Mathematics
9/197212/1972 Fall
University of California, Berkeley Ph.D., 1961
Massachusetts Institute of Technology B.S., 1958
National Academy of Sciences 2014
Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy 2013
American Academy of Arts and Sciences 2008
Oswald Veblen Prize in Geometry 1976
American Philosophical Society