Using advanced computers, he went from M.I.T. professor to multibillionaire. His Medallion fund had 66 percent average annual returns for decades.

Jim Simons, the prizewinning mathematician who abandoned a stellar academic career, then plunged into finance — a world he knew nothing about — and became one of the most successful Wall Street investors ever, died on Friday in his home in Manhattan. He was 86.

His death was confirmed by his spokesman, Jonathan Gasthalter, who did not specify a cause.

After publishing breakthrough studies in mathematics that would play a seminal role in quantum field theory, string theory and condensed matter physics, Mr. Simons decided to apply his genius to a more prosaic subject — making as much money as he could in as short a time as possible.

So at age 40 he opened a storefront office in a Long Island strip mall and set about proving that trading commodities, currencies, stocks

Keep reading this article on Andrew Ross Sorkin - DealBook Section Business New York Times.

Leave a Reply