Photo by Gert-Martin Greuel
James "Jim" Harris Simons (born 1938) is an American mathematician, hedge fund manager, and philanthropist. He is a code breaker and studies pattern recognition. He and Shiing-Shen Chern invented the Chern-Simons form in 1974 and contributed to the development of string theory by providing a theoretical framework to combine geometry and topology with quantum field theory. Simons was a professor of mathematics at Stony Brook University and was also the former chair of the Mathematics Department at Stony Brook. In 1982, Simons embarked on a business career where he founded Renaissance Technologies, a private hedge fund based in New York City with over USD 25 billion under management. Simons retired at the end of 2009 as CEO of one of the world's most successful hedge fund firms. Simons' net worth is estimated to be USD 16.5 billion.
In 2015, James Simons and his wife Marilyn Simons gave away USD 298 million to charity, which totaled up to their lifetime giving at USD 2.1 billion so far.
In his pledge commitment, he stated:” We are very fortunate to be in this position, and we find the execution of our philanthropic work to be both challenging and deeply satisfying.”