Renowned mathematician and "Game of Life" inventor, John Conway, died this week of COVID-19

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/04/17/renowned-mathematician-and-g.html

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I learned about his death from XKCD. Randall made a tribute gif

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I popped in here to make sure that was posted. Made me a little misty.

Has anyone checked to see if that starting configuration would actually turn into a glider?

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Yes, I saw that earlier as well. The “glider” emerging from the deconstructed man is a wonderful metaphor about life going on (or something.)

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Do you even need to ask that? This is Randall Munroe we’re taking about, not your average comic artist.

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That’s so lovely. I just added it to the post. Thanks!

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Guess you don’t have the same news feeds I do: he was all over the place. Check out the SMBC tribute as well:

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I saw this earlier, but without attribution. Which is all that Randall asks, so not cool ( it was someone who had the skills to do it, so I assumed )

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Yes, I actually entered it into a Life implementation that I made years back before I even saw the gif in the comments.

(Obviously, I was preparing to make a snarky comment if it just turned into a flasher or something)

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I almost clicked on your Life implementation … then I steadied my hand. “What did you do on lockdown, Old Guy?” “Umm…”

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And he’d sigh if we didn’t at least check his work.

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And - somebody had to say it - Life goes on.

Kudos to the man.

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Yet another person, worth a million more times than Trump, dies.

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Yet another person, worth a million more times than Trump, dies.

This assumes that Trump is worth a positive amount.

Conway’s books Winning Ways and Sphere packings, lattices, and groups are both delightful reads. Presumably his other books are too. I wonder what Princeton math will do with his office (post-quarantine), which was full of puzzles, unlocked, and bore the sign “Let anyone ignorant of geometry enter here”.

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Well, 1,000,000 times -1 is -1,000,000. So… :slightly_smiling_face:

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Here some interviews from 2011 https://www.simonsfoundation.org/2014/04/04/john-conway/

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I remember a John Conway book that had (at least in the first half) a couple of kids on a deserted beach building up the entire foundation of mathematics (arithmetic and numbers in general included) using nothing but brackets or bras and kets. It was delightful) Never did find the book again.

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Donald Knuth, although the book is an exposition of a theory of Conway’s.

Surreal Numbers. https://www.amazon.com/Surreal-Numbers-Donald-Knuth/dp/0201038129 shows it as out of print. archive.org has a copy. https://archive.org/details/SurrealNumbers/page/n2/mode/2up

Interview with Knuth on the writing of the book. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPn2AdMH7UQ

Lecture by Conway on the surreals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1eAmxgINXrE

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Thank you. An embarrassment of riches. I’m just dyslexic enough to see how I could have confused the two. [you’ve no idea howl long it took to type this without too many mistakes].

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