James Simons, born in 1938, is a renowned American mathematician, hedge fund manager and philanthropist. He studied Mathematics at MIT and attained a PhD at Berkeley after which he began cracking codes for the National Security Agency. He revolutionized geometry and laid the foundation for string theory as his mathematical research unexpectedly extended to explaining phenomena within the world of physics. With a few colleagues he started an investment firm which he later named Renaissance. This hedge fund basically worked with untapped algorithms that yielded extraordinary profits thus making Simons a billionaire. Since his retirement, he has devoted his time to mathematics and philanthropy: his foundation has committed over a billion dollars to math and science education and to autism research.