R.I.P. Jim Simons (1938-2024) | In the Dark


I heard yesterday of the death, at the age of 86, of Jim Simons. Jim Simons started out as an academic in the fields of mathematics and mathematical physics. Together with Shiing-Shen Chern he developed the Chern–Simons form, which has been of interest recently in the context of cosmology because of the potential for parity violation, and also contributed to the development of a theoretical framework to combine geometry and topology with quantum field theory. He then moved to into the world of hedge funds, and became a highly successful investor on Wall Street, amassing a huge personal fortune. In later life he turned back to his first loves, however, and set up the Simons Foundation which supports, among many other things, the Simons Observatory and the Flatiron Institute both of which have had, and will no doubt continue to have, an enormous impact in the fields of cosmology and astrophysics. The Simons Foundation has also made large donations to the arXiv.

R.I.P. Jim Simons (1938-2024)

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