Richard K. Guy
He is best known for co-authorship (with John Conway and Elwyn Berlekamp) of Winning Ways for your Mathematical Plays and authorship of Unsolved Problems in Number Theory (ISBN 0-387-94289-0), but he has also published over 100 papers and books covering combinatorial game theory, number theory and graph theory.
He is said to have developed the partially tongue-in-cheek "Strong Law of Small Numbers," which says there are not enough small integers available for the many tasks assigned to them — thus explaining many coincidences and patterns found among numerous cultures.
Guy is also a notable figure in the field of chess endgame studies. He composed around 200 studies, and was co-inventor of the Guy-Blandford-Roycroft code for classifying studies. He also served as the endgame study editor for the British Chess Magazine from 1948 to 1951.
Richard Guy tells a number of amusing anecdotes about famous mathematicians.
Louis J. Mordell was visiting Calgary for a couple of years, and would attend the weekly seminars. A young man is lecturing and at some point writes a formula on the board, and a member of the audience says "Isn't that Knickerbocker's theorem?" and the speaker contradicts him. A few minutes later the same person say "No, I'm sure that's Knickerbocker's theorem--C.J.Knickerbocker," and the speaker again contradicts him.
Eventually the talk ends, the audience's applause wakes up the elderly Mordell, and he looks up at the board and starts pointing excitedly, saying "There's old Knickerbocker's result!"
- Guy, Richard K. (2004). Unsolved problems in number theory (3rd edition ed.). Springer. ISBN 978-0-387-20860-2.
- Richard K. Guy (2001). "Aviezri Fraenkel and Combinatorial Games". Electronic Journal of Combinatorics 8 (2).
- Béla Bollobás, Richard K. Guy (1983). "Equitable and proportional coloring of trees". J. Comb. Theory, Ser. B 34 (2): 177–186. doi:10.1016/0095-8956(83)90017-5.
- Richard K. Guy, Gerhard Ringel (1976). "Triangular embedding of Kn – K6". J. Comb. Theory, Ser. B 21 (2): 140–145. doi:10.1016/0095-8956(76)90054-X.
Notes and references
- Donald J. Albers & Gerald L. Alexanderson (2011) Fascinating Mathematical People: interviews and memoirs, "Richard K. Guy", pp 165–92, Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-0-691-14829-8 .