8 Replies to “Good Bye, John Conway”

  1. Very sad indeed. I vividly remember when Game of Life appeared in Scientific American in late 1970s, so long ago now., I set it up with ruled paper on the lounge room floor.. I played it so much !!!

    1. That’s such a Conwayish theorem! Thanks, Steve. I hadn’t heard of Michael Guy. I gather that it’s Michael’s father, Richard, who died recently.

  2. Very sad indeed. I saw John Conway lecture when he visited Melbourne Uni in the late 90’s (I think). He was a very charismatic lecturer.

    The last theorem in his book “On Numbers and Games” gives an insight into the humour he injected into his work. (I might not have this exactly right – I don’t have a copy in front of me right now)

    Theorem: This is the last theorem in the book.
    Proof: The proof is obvious

    1. Thanks very much, David. I remember that trip of John’s and had to do some hosting and chauffeuring for him. It was one of the highlights of my fringe mathematician career. I’ve been lucky to meet and to semi-semi-work with some great mathematicians, but Conway was absolutely unique. Just a magical combination of genius and play. I told Burkard that I regarded him (Burkard) as a fifth rate Conway. Burkard’s reply: “I’m happy with the 5”.

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