John Conway Dies From Coronavirus

Sue Gee, writing at I Programmer:

John Conway, the mathematician who will be forever known to many programmers as the man who invented The Game of Life, died on April 11, 2020 at the age of 82, a victim of COVID-19. […]

According to Princeton University Conway’s proudest achievement was the invention of new system of numbers, the surreal numbers — a continuum of numbers that include not only real numbers but also the infinitesimal and the infinite numbers, noting:

When he discovered them in 1970, the surreals had John wandering around in a white-hot daydream for weeks.

His surreal numbers inspired a mathematical novel by Donald Knuth, which includes the line:

“Conway said to the numbers, ‘Be fruitful and multiply.’”

The Wikipedia entry on Conway’s Game of Life is excellent. Google has a good Easter egg for the query “Conway’s Game of Life”.

Monday, 13 April 2020