Stony Brook announced yesterday that Jim Simons will be making a $25 million dollar donation to the university, focused in the area of mathematics and physics. This is a great deal of money for a math or physics department, and it is the largest single cash donation ever made to any of the SUNY institutions.
Simons was responsible for building up the Stony Brook math department, which he joined as chair in 1968. About his hopes for what his donation will do, he says:
During the past thirty years mathematics and physics have grown increasingly intertwined. This is particularly true in the cases of string theory, quantum field theory and cosmology, which have all depended upon and stimulated advanced work in geometry and topology. Buttressed by its close relationship with Brookhaven National Laboratory and building on a fine faculty already in place we believe our gift can help propel Stony Brook into the very top rank in these central fields.