Conway, John Horton (1937–)

John Conway

John Conway is a British-born (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.