John Horton Conway is John von Neumann Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University. He was born in 1937 in Liverpool, England, and received both his BA (1959) and his PhD (1964) from CambridgeUniversity
. From 1962-1987 he was Lecturer, Reader, and Professor in Mathematics there. In 1987 he became a member of the faculty at Princeton.
Conway is perhaps most popularly known for his GameOfLife
, which is a simple simulation of cellular behavior giving rise to extremely complex results, including the creation of a TuringMachine
. He has done major work on the sphere-packing problem, and on the classification of the sporadic simple groups. However, he is most famous for his work on combinatorial game theory, including the classic game of Nim and many others; his work became the book O
nNumbersAndGames, and in collaboration with Elwyn Berlekamp and Richard Guy, Winning
Ways, and introduced the SurrealNumbers
to mathematics. He has also made significant contributions to knot theory, game theory, number theory, and the study of quadratic forms.
The term SurrealNumbers
was coined by DonKnuth
, in his book of the same name.