Simons Investigators

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Each year, the Simons Foundation requests nominations from a targeted list of institutions in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland for the Simons Investigator programs. Simons Investigators are outstanding theoretical scientists who receive a stable base of research support from the foundation, enabling them to undertake the long-term study of fundamental questions.

Only nominations from institutions that receive the request will be accepted. The Math+X and MMLS programs have been discontinued and the foundation will not be requesting future nominations. Please contact mps@simonsfoundation.org for more information.

Simons Investigators in Mathematics, Physics, Astrophysics and Computer Science

The intent of the Simons Investigators in Mathematics, Physics, Astrophysics and Computer Science programs is to support outstanding theoretical scientists in their most productive years, when they are establishing creative new research directions, providing leadership to the field and effectively mentoring junior scientists. Starting in 2020, up to two Simons Investigator in Physics awards will be granted to well-established researchers who develop and apply advance theoretical physics ideas and methods in the life sciences.

A Simons Investigator is appointed for an initial period of five years. Renewal for an additional five years is contingent upon the evaluation of scientific impact of the Investigator. An Investigator receives research support of $100,000 per year. An additional $10,000 per year is provided to the Investigator’s department. The Investigator’s institution receives an additional 20 percent in indirect costs.

To be an Investigator, a scientist must be engaged in theoretical research in mathematics, physics, astrophysics or computer science and must not previously have been a Simons Investigator. He/she must have a primary appointment as a tenured faculty member at an educational institution in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom or Ireland, on a campus within these countries and the primary department affiliation must have a Ph.D. program.

Simons Investigators in Mathematical Modeling of Living Systems (MMLS)

This program aims to help the research careers of outstanding scientists working on mathematical and theoretical approaches to topics in the life sciences. A Simons Investigator in MMLS is appointed for five years.

Math+X Investigators

This program encourages novel collaborations between mathematics and other fields in science or engineering by providing funds to professors to establish programs at the interface between mathematics and other fields of science or engineering. A Math+X Investigator is appointed for an initial period of five years. Renewal for an additional five years is contingent upon the evaluation of scientific impact of the Investigator.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2021

L. Mahadevan, Ph.D.

Harvard University
Theoretical Physics in Life Sciences | 2021

L. Mahadevan is a professor of applied mathematics, physics, and organismic and evolutionary biology. His work attempts to understand motion and matter at the observable scale of “middle earth” by integrating experiments, theory and computation. Areas of interest include the patterns of shape and flow of inanimate matter and the dynamics of sentient living matter that can self-organize, perceive and act. His publications range over subjects such as the geometry and physics of soft materials, the mathematics of origami and kirigami, the morphodynamics of cells and organs, and the ethology of collective behavior. Mahadevan is a MacArthur Fellow and a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Ilya Nemenman, Ph.D.

Emory University
Theoretical Physics in Life Sciences | 2021

Ilya Nemenman, in close collaboration with experimentalists, works on theoretical understanding of biological information processing, aiming to build models that show physics-level precision in agreeing with experimental data. He and his collaborators were some of the first groups to estimate information-theoretic channel capacity of protein signaling pathways, analyze statistical properties of activity of large genetic and neural networks, discover collective cellular sensing in development, decode high-precision timing codes in neural motor control, and model dynamics of complex animal behavior, such as a bird learning its song.

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