James Harris Simons, Founder, Renaissance Technologies
"Net Worth: $ 18.5 billion
James Harris Simons is an American mathematician, billionaire hedge fund manager, and philanthropist. He is known as a quantitative investor and in 1982 founded Renaissance Technologies, a private hedge fund based in New York City. Although Simons retired from the fund in 2009, he remains its non-executive chairman and adviser. As a mathematics professor, he is also known for his studies on pattern recognition. He developed (with Shiing-Shen Chern) the Chern–Simons form, and contributed to the development of string theory by providing a theoretical framework to combine geometry and topology with quantum field theory."
Description and impact
The Simons Foundation’s mission is to advance the frontiers of research in mathematics and the basic sciences. Co-founded in New York City by Jim and Marilyn Simons, the foundation exists to support basic — or discovery-driven — scientific research undertaken in the pursuit of understanding the phenomena of our world. The Simons Foundation’s support of science takes two forms: We support research by making grants to individual investigators and their projects through academic institutions, and, with the launch of the Flatiron Institute in 2016, we now conduct scientific research in-house, supporting teams of top computational scientists.