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____ Tuesday September 8, 2015 ____

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Philanthropy

Jim Simons: A rare interview with the mathematician who cracked Wall Street

Jim Simons was a mathematician and cryptographer who realized: the complex math he used to break codes could help explain patterns in the world of finance. Billions later, he’s working to support the next generation of math teachers and scholars. TED’s Chris Anderson sits down with Simons to talk about his extraordinary life in numbers.

After astonishing success as a mathematician, code breaker and billionaire hedge fund manager, Jim Simons is mastering yet another field: philanthropy.

As a mathematician who cracked codes for the National Security Agency on the side, Jim Simons had already revolutionized geometry -- and incidentally laid the foundation for string theory -- when he began to get restless. Along with a few hand-picked colleagues he started the investment firm that went on to become Renaissance, a hedge fund working with hitherto untapped algorithms, and became a billionaire in the process.

Now retired as Renaissance’s CEO, Simons devotes his time to mathematics and philanthropy. The Simons Foundation has committed more than a billion dollars to math and science education and to autism research.

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