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#1 2020-04-13 13:26:49

Real Member
From: Riemann Sphere
Registered: 2011-01-29
Posts: 24,956

John Conway passes away

Conway was a brilliant mathematician. Conway is widely known for Surreal Numbers, Game of Life; not to mention lots of other things he has done which I do not understand.

Interestingly, just the day before the library in my university closed down because of the pandemic, I "hoarded off" a couple of books. One of them was co-authored by Conway.

'And fun? If maths is fun, then getting a tooth extraction is fun. A viral infection is fun. Rabies shots are fun.'
'God exists because Mathematics is consistent, and the devil exists because we cannot prove it'
I'm not crazy, my mother had me tested.


#2 2020-04-13 13:58:51

Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 31,710

Re: John Conway passes away


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. He also made contributions to many branches of recreational mathematics, most notably the invention of the cellular automaton called the Game of Life. Conway spent the first half of his long career at the University of Cambridge in England, and the second half at Princeton University in New Jersey, where he held the title John von Neumann Professor Emeritus. On 11 April 2020, at age 82, he died of COVID-19 in his home state of New Jersey.

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. He also invented a nomenclature for exceedingly large numbers, the Conway chained arrow notation.

Conway chained arrow notation, created by mathematician John Horton Conway, is a means of expressing certain extremely large numbers. It is simply a finite sequence of positive integers separated by rightward arrows, e.g. 2 → 3 → 4 → 5 → 6.

As with most combinatorial notations, the definition is recursive. In this case the notation eventually resolves to being the leftmost number raised to some (usually enormous) integer power.

It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.


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