Simons’ Math+X investigator program is all about collaboration between high-level mathematics and other fields. The 2016 awardee’s ideas have impacted photo sharing, spotting phony art, even fossil hunting.
Science philanthropy had a bit of a moment in 2014, with some major news stories, plus a growing sense that wealthy donors are gaining influence in an area historically fueled by public funds.
Five mathematicians—including one former child prodigy, and one multi-talented researcher who has now won three seven-figure science awards—are winners of the very first Breakthrough Prizes in Mathematics. The mathematicians landed $3 million each, and will serve on the selection committee to decide future winners.
When individual molecules or organisms interact on large scales, whether a swarm of locusts or patterns appearing in fluid, bizarre and amazing things can happen, in ways that we don’t understand all that well. It’s a fitting problem for one of the Simons Foundation’s grants encouraging collaboration in mathematics.
Jaffray Woodriff knows a thing or two about data. The investment whiz based in Charlottesville, Virginia, used his homegrown predictive models of investment data to build a $4 billion-plus managed futures firm. Paying tribute to his golden goose, the investor just made a $10 million gift to advance the emerging field of data science.
Tuxedo-clad celebrities joined tech superstars like Mark Zuckerberg and Sergey Brin in Silicon Vally Thursday to announce the latest round of Breakthrough Prizes for science research. And while the stars of the show this round were life science and physics researchers, the crew of wealthy donors behind the awards made news by announcing a new high-dollar prize in yet another field.
Manjul Bhargava had already gained fame in the mathematics world as a number theorist and the second-youngest person to earn the rank of full professor at Princeton University. But his stock rose again when he was named to a heavyweight list of academics who earned one of the Simons Foundation's first round of awards as part of a new program meant to support theoretical scientists.