To promote a deeper understanding of our world, Canada may need a Jim Simons
“Yes, this country is lucky to have Mike Lazaridis, who has been the patron saint of Theoretical Physics in Canada, including his magic touch to attract government support. But to involve the rest of us in the universal quest for a deeper understanding of our world, Canada may yet need a Jim Simons.”
The news may come as a shock to the Dean of U. Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, Roger Martin, and all those who have been preaching to the Canadian government that “what makes a country prosperous is not investment in science and technology,” but “businesses having unique products and processes that a customer needs.” Jim Simons has done it again, and has donated $60 million for the establishment of an Institute for the Theory of Computing at UC-Berkeley. And guess what! Google, IBM, Yahoo and Microsoft have all expressed interest in collaborating. Neither the donation, nor the interest of these corporate leaders come as a surprise to the world’s mathematical sciences community. Indeed, these corporations never hid their addiction to mathematical advances nor their dependence on mathematical talent, and the donation is but a drop in the bucket of what Jim Simons had already contributed intellectually and financially to advanced basic research.
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