Simon is a polymath who has the uncanny ability to identify, understand, and integrate every aspect of any technical problem he studies. To wit: Simon is a theoretical economist who has used his core training in game theory and market design to become an expert in all matters related to the telecommunication industry: the technologies used, how they coordinate or interfere with each other, and the economic, legal, industry, and consumer trade-offs that must be considered when entering new markets or making regulatory and policy decisions about existing markets.
Simon started out as a Post-Doctoral Fellow and became a Member of Technical Staff at Bellcore, the major research and development arm for the seven regional telephone companies formed after the breakup of AT&T. Simon’s basic research in cooperative and non-cooperative game theory, as well as characterizations of bargaining solutions, led him next to the California Institute of Technology. In residence at CalTech for a total of ten years, Simon spent a year in Washington, D.C. when he was appointed Chief Economist of the Federal Communications Commission. Simon is now a pre-eminent authority on spectrum auctions and telecommunications policy and regulation, with a detailed knowledge of the telecommunications protocols, bandwidth, and network configurations that will be required for the Internet of Things.
Simon also has served as the Chair of the Department of Economics at the University of Southern California, with co-appointments in the USC Law School and USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and soon will become the Dean of the Monash Business School in Melbourne, Australia. Friends for years, Simon and John most recently overlapped at Microsoft Research, where Simon focused mechanism and market design and the monetization of data from IoT telemetry for enterprise customers, while John worked on the blockchain architecture that would enable such efforts.
Best summary of Simon’s personality: He’s Australian.