John Horton Conway (26 December 1937 – 11 April 2020) was an English mathematician active in the theory of finite groups, knot theory, number theory, combinatorial game theory and coding theory.

On 11 April 2020, at age 82, he died of complications from COVID-19. ==Early life== Conway was born on 26 December 1937 in Liverpool, the son of Cyril Horton Conway and Agnes Boyce.

Gardner and Conway had first corresponded in the late 1950s, and over the years Gardner had frequently written about recreational aspects of Conway's work.

A "terribly introverted adolescent" in school, he took his admission to Cambridge as an opportunity to transform himself into an extrovert, a change which would later earn him the nickname of "the world's most charismatic mathematician". Conway was awarded a BA in 1959 and, supervised by Harold Davenport, began to undertake research in number theory.

He was awarded his doctorate in 1964 and was appointed as College Fellow and Lecturer in Mathematics at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.

For instance, he discussed Conway's game of Sprouts (Jul 1967), Hackenbush (Jan 1972), and his angel and devil problem (Feb 1974).

Lombardero's 1968 Princeton Senior Thesis, which distinguished this one, but not the other, from all others, based on its Alexander polynomial].) In knot theory the Conway knot is named after him. ===Group theory=== He was the primary author of the ATLAS of Finite Groups giving properties of many finite simple groups.

His initial experiments in that field were done with pen and paper, long before personal computers existed. Since the game was introduced by Martin Gardner in Scientific American in 1970, it has spawned hundreds of computer programs, web sites, and articles.

When Gardner featured Conway's Game of Life in his Mathematical Games column in October 1970, it became the most widely read of all his columns and made Conway an instant celebrity.

Chapman and Hall, London, 1971, Series: Chapman and Hall mathematics series, . 1976 – On numbers and games.

For instance, he discussed Conway's game of Sprouts (Jul 1967), Hackenbush (Jan 1972), and his angel and devil problem (Feb 1974).

For instance, he discussed Conway's game of Sprouts (Jul 1967), Hackenbush (Jan 1972), and his angel and devil problem (Feb 1974).

In the September 1976 column, he reviewed Conway's book On Numbers and Games and even managed to explain Conway's surreal numbers. Conway was a prominent member of Martin Gardner's Mathematical Grapevine.

In a 1976 visit, Gardner kept him for a week, pumping him for information on the Penrose tilings which had just been announced.

Academic Press, New York, 1976, Series: L.M.S.

Gardner used these results when he introduced the world to Penrose tiles in his January 1977 column.

This work made him a key player in the successful classification of the finite simple groups. Based on a 1978 observation by mathematician John McKay, Conway and Norton formulated the complex of conjectures known as monstrous moonshine.

After lying dormant for more than a decade, this concept became central to work in the 1980s on the novel knot polynomials.

In 2001 he was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Liverpool, and in 2014 one from Alexandru Ioan Cuza University. His FRS nomination, in 1981, reads: In 2017 Conway was given honorary membership of the British Mathematical Association. ==Death== On 8 April 2020, Conway developed symptoms of COVID-19.

Clarendon Press, New York, Oxford University Press, 1985, . 1988 – Sphere Packings, Lattices, and Groups (with Neil Sloane).

After leaving Cambridge in 1986, he took up the appointment to the John von Neumann Chair of Mathematics at Princeton University. ==Conway's Game of Life== Conway was especially known for the invention of the Game of Life, one of the early examples of a cellular automaton.

In Conway's provocative wording: "if experimenters have free will, then so do elementary particles." ==Awards and honours== Conway received the Berwick Prize (1971), was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (1981), became a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1992, was the first recipient of the Pólya Prize (LMS) (1987), won the Nemmers Prize in Mathematics (1998) and received the Leroy P.

Copernicus, New York, 1996, . 1997 – The Sensual (quadratic) Form (with Francis Yein Chei Fung).

Mathematical Association of America, Washington, DC, 1997, Series: Carus mathematical monographs, no.

Not Just Fun and Games Scientific American, April 1999 Conway, John and Smith, Derek A.

In 2001 he was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Liverpool, and in 2014 one from Alexandru Ioan Cuza University. His FRS nomination, in 1981, reads: In 2017 Conway was given honorary membership of the British Mathematical Association. ==Death== On 8 April 2020, Conway developed symptoms of COVID-19.

Peters, Natick, MA, 2002, . 2008 – The Symmetries of Things (with Heidi Burgiel and Chaim Goodman-Strauss).

One of his early books was on finite-state machines. ===Theoretical physics=== In 2004, Conway and Simon B.

He came up with the angel problem, which was solved in 2006. He invented a new system of numbers, the surreal numbers, which are closely related to certain games and have been the subject of a mathematical novelette by Donald Knuth.

Mind As Machine, Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 1271 du Sautoy, Marcus (2008).

Peters, Wellesley, MA, 2008, . ==See also== List of things named after John Horton Conway ==References== ==Sources== Alpert, Mark (1999).

In 2001 he was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Liverpool, and in 2014 one from Alexandru Ioan Cuza University. His FRS nomination, in 1981, reads: In 2017 Conway was given honorary membership of the British Mathematical Association. ==Death== On 8 April 2020, Conway developed symptoms of COVID-19.

John Horton Conway (26 December 1937 – 11 April 2020) was an English mathematician active in the theory of finite groups, knot theory, number theory, combinatorial game theory and coding theory.

On 11 April 2020, at age 82, he died of complications from COVID-19. ==Early life== Conway was born on 26 December 1937 in Liverpool, the son of Cyril Horton Conway and Agnes Boyce.

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