Conway, John Horton (1937–)
John Conway is a Britishborn (Liverpool) mathematician, who studied and taught at Cambridge
University and is now a professor at Princeton University. Conway has been
an extraordinarily fertile source of new ideas in mathematics and of mathematical
games. His most significant contribution was the discovery of surreal
numbers, to which he was led after watching the British Go champion
play at Cambridge. In 1967 he found a cluster of three new sporadic groups,
now sometimes called Conway's Constellation, building on an earlier discovery
by John Leech of an extremely dense packing of unit spheres in a space of 24 dimensions. He has also been active in
the field of knots and in coding
theory. Among amateur mathematicians, Conway is best known as the inventor
of the games of Life, Sprouts,
and Phutball, as well as for his detailed
analyses of many other games and puzzles, such as the Soma
Cube.
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• MATHEMATICIANS
