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Henry Laufer to Receive Honorary Doctor of Science Degree

Henry Laufer to Receive Honorary Doctor of Science Degree

Honorary Degree Conferred at the Main Commencement Ceremony

STONY BROOK, NY, May 20, 2011- Henry Laufer, distinguished mathematician, author, and philanthropist, has made exceptional contributions to Stony Brook University for 40 years. After earning his doctorate in mathematics from Princeton University,he joined the faculty of Stony Brook’s Department of Mathematics in 1971. His research over the next two decades—during which time he won a prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship—focused on complex variables and algebraic topology. Dr. Laufer is the author of the textbook Discrete Mathematics and Applied Modern Algebra and more than 25 scholarly articles.

In 1992, Dr. Laufer left Stony Brook to join the leadership team at the East Setauket-based hedge fund, Renaissance Technologies. At Renaissance Technologies, he served as chief scientist and vice president of research until his retirement in 2009. While there, he was instrumental in formulating the firm’s trading strategy and computer algorithms and for contributing to the success of the Medallion Fund. His fundamental work was essential to the development of model-based trading strategies, which have revolutionized investment strategies around the world. Throughout this period, he and his family also remained very much involved with the University.

Dr. Laufer’s outstanding support of Stony Brook is best exemplified by his multifaceted service to the University. He is a trustee and member of the Investment Committee of the Stony Brook Foundation, a member of Stony Brook’s Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center, and a strong supporter of a wide variety of programs across the University. In December 2008, he and his wife, Dr. Marsha Laufer, made a $10 million gift, the majority of which was used to establish a new interdisciplinary research center on campus. The Louis and Beatrice Laufer Center for Physical and Quantitative Biology, named for Henry Laufer’s parents, will bring together experts in such fields as mathematics, genetics, biochemistry, engineering, and computer sciences to achieve breakthroughs in biomedical research and health care. 

The Laufers are also known for their support of the Staller Center for the Arts, the School of Health Technology and Management, and the University Library’s Special Collections. 

As a faculty member, Foundation trustee, and generous benefactor, Henry Laufer has had a major impact on Stony Brook. His leadership on a broad spectrum of projects has greatly enhanced the University. It is our privilege to bestow upon Dr. Henry Laufer the honorary degree of Doctor of Science.

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