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John Conway has died

File:John H Conway 2005.jpg
Conway in 2005; photo by Thane Plambeck

Mathematician John Horton Conway, a professor at both the University of Cambridge and Princeton University, and the originator of hundreds of lovely and clever maths things, has died at the age of 82.

Notably, over the weekend Twitter has been filled with an outpouring of tweets and threads of people recounting their favourite John Conway stories and memories. Inspired by (and slightly cribbing from) Ben Orlin’s thread of tributes, we’ve collected some here for you to read through and remember John Conway, giant of mathematics.

Conway made several videos with Brady Haran, creator of the Numberphile YouTube channel:

Several tweets from Robin Houston sharing lovely Conway things:

The book mentioned in the Tweet above is Genius at Play: The Curious Mind of John Horton Conway by Siobhan Roberts, which we reviewed here when it came out in 2015.

Roberts’ biography makes some reference to the sometimes uncomfortable ways Conway exercised the privilege that accompanied his ‘oddball’ reputation. A Twitter thread begun by Dr. Wandering Point shares some less positive memories:

Many more tributes and recollections can be found online:

RIP John Conway, and thank you for your contributions to both mathematics and the universe.

One Response to “John Conway has died”

  1. Avatar Gavin Wraith

    I never realized he was only a year older than me. He was supposed to be writing a dissertation on number theory for Davenport, when I first got to know him at Trinity, but he was more interested in knots. Do you know his marvellous proof that a triangle whose sides are in rational proportion and whose angles are in rational proportion is either equilateral or of zero area? He was a true genius. I know one other, but he is still alive, so I will keep silent. My mother and I once babysat for John and Eileen.


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