Getting back on topic, I am enjoying the book. I have already learned one secret to Simons' success that I didn't appreciate: he knew how to locate and hire really good people from his days chairing/building up the Stony Brook math dept. And the author, Zuckerman, not only tells a good story, but is good at popularizing technical topics, like hidden Markov models.
thanks for the recommendation - I have ordered a copy.
Sometimes reading biographies of terrifyingly intelligent people can read like a list of effortless achievement (without dramatic tension)
but this example (maybe) has the fascinating theme of do terrifyingly intelligent people make good risk takers?
Does Elwyn Berlekamp play a prominent role in the book? I remember reading somewhere that he came up with a lot of the early ideas
in strategies ultimately deployed by Renaissance Tech but sold up his interest cheaply and returned to academia. I always thought there
is an interesting story there somewhere.