Three Women Are Among the Inaugural Class of 21 Simons Investigators

The Simons Foundation has announced its inaugural class of Simons Investigators. The foundation supports the research of mathematicians, theoretical physicists, and theoretical computer scientists. Each investigator receives $100,000 support for five years, which may be renewed for another five years. The no-strings-attached funding, is meant to allow promising scientists to forge ahead with their research without financial obligation. The 21 recipients of the awards were not aware that they were being considered for the honor. The foundation hopes to announced a new class of Simons Investigators every one to two years.

The Simons Foundation is based in New York and was established by James Simons, a mathematician and founder of Renaissance Technologies. The foundation has assets of nearly $2 billion.

Only three of the inaugural class of 21 Simons Investigators are women.

(L to R) Shafrira Goldwasser, Sharon Glotzer, and Alice Guionnet

Shafrira Goldwasser is a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research centers on cryptography and complexity theory.

Professor Goldwasser is a native of New York City. She earned a bachelor’s degree at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. in computer science from the University of California at Berkeley.

Sharon Glotzer is the Stuart W. Churchill Collegiate Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan. Her research uses computer simulations to undertand how to manipulate matter at the nano- and meso-scales.

Professor Glotzer is a graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles and holds a Ph.D. in physics from Boston University.

Alice Guionnet will join the faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology this fall. She has been teaching at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon in France. Her research focuses on the statistical mechanics of disordered systems.

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