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Happy 100th birthday, Richard K Guy!


We’d all like to wish a very happy birthday to the wonderful Richard K Guy, who turns 100 today.

Happily, Guy remains not dead in either the corporeal or Erdős sense: he’s both fit as a fiddle (he climbed a tower for charity aged 97), and active in the mathematical community.

A group of fans have recorded a tribute song, titled “Is There Still News for Me in That Old Geometry?”

The lyrics were written by ‘Blanche Descartes’ (whoever that is in this instance), and it was performed by Robert Schneider‘s Barbershop Octet.

Richard K Guy has produced an enormous amount of mathematics throughout his very long life, including some classic books. Those include Winning Ways for Your Mathematical Plays with Conway and Berlekamp, The Book of Numbers with Conway, and books on unsolved problems in geometry, number theory and combinatorics.

Guy is a great collaborator, famously working with John Conway and Elwyn Berlekamp on combinatorial games but also wrote four papers with Paul Erdős.

A couple of remarkable objects owe their existence to Guy: he discovered a 19-sided unistable polyhedron and the iconic Game of Life glider is another Richard K Guy discovery.

The University of Calgary, where Guy worked from 1965 until retirement, has set up a page where you can share your birthday wishes.

More stuff to read

Emeritus professor marks a century of life and learning press release by the University of Calgary.

Happy 100th birthday Richard K Guy mini-site.

An “Infinitely Rich” Mathematician Turns 100 by top maths writer Siobhan Roberts in Nautilus magazine.

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