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Renaissance Technologies Founder James Simons Says Pay Math Teachers More to Compete with Google and Goldman Sachs

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The somewhat elusive Jim Simons is the founder of the hedge fund Renaissance Technologies. Now retired, Simons focuses on the Simons Foundation, a charity devoted to scientific research. In a speech in early December at MIT titled, "Mathematics, Common Sense and Good Luck: My Life and Careers," Simons discusses the career arc that took him from studying mathematics at MIT to being fired from the Department of Defense after criticizing the pro-Vietnam War stance of General Maxwell Taylor (who just happened to be his boss) and, eventually, Renaissance Technologies.

While no trade secrets are disclosed by the notoriously secretive Simons, he does present a number of interesting ideas, including the question, "Why don't we have more teachers knowledgeable about math teaching the subject in high schools? Well, the simple answer, Simons says, is if they knew the subject well enough they'd also know enough to go to work for Google (GOOG) or Goldman Sachs. (GS). "Today, the world is so much more quantified and the economy is so much more based on quantitative math than it was 30 or 40 years ago."

Simons' speech begins at the 11:15 mark.

Thanks to Paul Kedrosky for pointing out this video.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.