John H. Conway

John Conway is one of the most prolific mathematicians. He is probably best known for the "Game of Life," which he invented, as well as for "combinatorial game theory" that he developed (partly in collaboration): a very natural and simple definition that lead to a class of games with incredibly rich structure, containing the now-famous "surreal numbers." He has made substantial contributions to many other areas of mathematics, for instance group theory. He greatly enjoys spending time and discussing with students.


"Topics decided in consultation with participants:" John Conway prefers to decide the topics of his presentations on short notice. He enjoys discussing with the participants of the summer school (which is the main reason why he is coming all the way), and likes to choose the topics depending on interests and requests of participants. Some of his most popular talks are on "games and numbers", on "sphere packings", on "lattices and (lexi-)codes", on "knot theory", on "fractran: universal computing with fractions", or on "the free will theorem" (a relatively new piece of work). Some of his more recent work is on generalizations of Fibonacci sequences; one may also ask him to speak on Euclidean geometry and triangles, or on a relation between his various works on computability and provability, including the question on whether the famous 3n+1 problem is solvable.