Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
John Horton Conway (born December 26, 1937, Liverpool, England) is a prolific mathematician active in the theory of finite groups, knot theory, number theory, combinatorial game theory and coding theory.
Among amateur mathematicians, he is perhaps most widely known for his combinatorial game theory and for the invention of the game of life. He is also one of the inventors of sprouts, as well as philosopher's football, and he developed detailed analyses of many other games and puzzles, such as the Soma cube. He came up with the still unsolved Angel problem.
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 novel by Donald Knuth. He also invented a nomenclature for exceedingly large numbers, the Conway chained arrow notation.
External links and references
- O' Connor, Robertson, "John Horton Conway", MacTutor biography, http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/history/Mathematicians/Conway.html
- Mark Alpert, "Not Just Fun and Games", Scientific American April 1999. online version
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