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On the passing of Jim Simons

image of Jim Simons
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Honorary Trustee Jim Simons passed away on May 10, 2024, at the age of 86.
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It is with great sadness that we share with the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) community the passing of Jim Simons, an Honorary Trustee and one of the most significant supporters of and donors to this institution. Jim was an award-winning mathematician, a legend in quantitative investing, and an inspired and generous philanthropist.

Jim chaired the math department at nearby Stony Brook University in New York, and the mathematical breakthroughs he made during his time there are now instrumental to fields such as string theory, topology, and condensed matter physics.

In 1978, Jim founded what would become Renaissance Technologies, a hedge fund that pioneered quantitative trading and became one of the most profitable investment firms in history. With his wife, Marilyn, Chair of the CSHL Board of Trustees, he then turned his focus to making a difference in the world through the Simons Foundation, Simons Foundation International, Math for America, and other philanthropic efforts. Their support of CSHL has been unparalleled, transforming both our research and education programs. They provided a founding gift for our Simons Center for Quantitative Biology and sponsored research on autism and cancer. Their lead gifts to our endowment and research infrastructure have transformed this institution.

Jim was genuinely interested in research; he was insightful and had a quick wit. He will be missed by all. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, the faculty, and our staff, I send our deepest condolences to Marilyn and the entire Simons family.

— Bruce Stillman, Ph.D., President

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