Confessions of a researchaholic

July 11, 2014

The best can succeed with those who are not

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 2:45 pm

I thought about James Simons every time Stony Brook was mentioned, so I always assume it is a perennially decent institution. Thus, I was surprised to find out its math department was “lousy” when Simons started there (and he wanted the job and it sounded like fun).

What we can do counts more than whom we are affiliated with.
Those who can succeed only with top people probably are not all that top.

[I would like to know how Simons built the department, aside from the fact that he is brilliant all by himself. Thanks in advance for potential sources.]

1 Comment »

  1. As far as I know, he just served as chairman for 8 year, but even afterwards, he uses his talent in making money to support their development and recruit top mathematicians. You may see the Simons center for geometry is the most decent building on campus and Renaissance Technologie hires a lot of Stony Brook Maths and CS students each year. He hosts parties in his private estate and financially supports high school students’ summer research to attract potential talented science students in the future.

    However, it looks that most of the succeed mathematicians work under big names and this relation can always be traced back to historical masters. There is an interesting genealogy for the SBU maths faculty(including Simons):
    Meanwhile, there is a related article with some parts related to Simons’s contribution to develop the department which I think is worth reading:

    Comment by qisun — July 14, 2014 @ 3:42 pm | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Theme: Rubric. Get a free blog at