Monday, November 07, 2022

Is a character in Andrew Mayne's new novel based on mathematician Jim Simons (AKA the World’s Greatest Investor)?

The book is called The Final Equinox. Here is the Amazon description:

"Dr. Theo Cray and FBI agent Jessica Blackwood follow a deadly celestial trail in a thrilling novel by the Amazon Charts and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Mastermind.

A signal is detected at the outer edge of the solar system. Computational biologist Dr. Theo Cray and magician-turned-FBI-agent Jessica Blackwood are looking—and listening—a little closer.

The man at the center of this cosmic mystery is billionaire Thomas T. Theismann. He’s spent a lifetime—and a fortune—trying to find out if we’re alone in the universe. Highly skeptical, Theo joins the effort to find the source of the signal, and he quickly enlists Jessica to look into the suspicious death of another academic at the lab. As their investigations converge, they uncover curious connections to the otherworldly contact, including a 1970s science-fiction writer and the body of an astronaut found buried in an ancient tomb.

As they delve into Theismann’s history, Theo and Jessica’s fascination with the signal intensifies. How dangerous will the investigation get? That depends on how deep into the unknown Theo and Jessica are prepared to venture." 
Here is an excerpt from the book:

"Theismann is an interesting figure. He's known to most of the world as a billionaire investor who avoids attention, but to math nerds and people like me, he has a different reputation.

In the 1970s, when the use of computers to trade stocks started to ramp up, Theismann was a graduate student at MIT who took a side job helping a financial firm build software to determine at what price to buy or sell currencies. Traders would input the latest data and look for trends and then make decisions. While electronic trading didn't exist yet, private institutions would use teletype time stamps to verify when an execution was made, allowing for an almost real-time network like the one that came about a decade later.

Currency traders looked for trends to see if a price was going up or down. With real-time data, traders using computers and software could spot a trend and buy into or sell before other less-adept firms were able to make decisions."
Also in the book, Theismann gets a venture going with an investment firm. They hire other mathematicians and make alot of money. Theismann is also a philanthropist. Sounds like Jim Simons.

Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia about Jim Simons: 

"James Harris Simons (/ˈsmənz/; born 25 April 1938) is an American mathematician, billionaire hedge fund manager, and philanthropist.[3] He is the founder of Renaissance Technologies, a quantitative hedge fund based in East Setauket, New York. He and his fund are known to be quantitative investors, using mathematical models and algorithms to make investment gains from market inefficiencies. Due to the long-term aggregate investment returns of Renaissance and its Medallion Fund, Simons is described as the "greatest investor on Wall Street," and more specifically "the most successful hedge fund manager of all time."[4][5][6] 

As reported by Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Simons' net worth is estimated to be $25.2 billion, making him the 66th-richest person in the world.[7] 

Simons is known for his studies on pattern recognition.[8] He developed the Chern–Simons form (with Shiing-Shen Chern), and contributed to the development of string theory by providing a theoretical framework to combine geometry and topology with quantum field theory.[9] In 1994, Simons founded the Simons Foundation with his wife to support researches in mathematics and fundamental sciences. He is one of the biggest donors to the University of California, Berkeley, establishing the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing in 2012, and to Berkeley's Simons Laufer Mathematical Sciences Institute, where he has served as a trustee since 1999."

He has a Ph. D. in math from the University of California, Berkeley. His B.S. in math was from MIT. Simons was the 1976 recipient of the AMS Oswald Veblen Prize in Geometry (Oswald Veblen was the nephew of economist Thorstein Veblen).

Related post:

The Making of the World’s Greatest Investor

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