“World’s Smartest Billionaire:” James Simons is Cal Alumnus of the Year for 2016

Simons left academia in 1978 to start what became Renaissance Technologies, an early pioneer in quantitative, or model-based, trading, primarily in commodities and currencies; the Medallion Fund he managed there is one of the world’s most successful hedge funds. Forbes has listed him among the top 100 richest people in the world, and he has been called “the world’s smartest billionaire.” (Cal Alumni UC Berkeley)