Simon Phillips Norton (born 28 February 1952) is a mathematician in Cambridge, England, who works on finite simple groups. He constructed the Harada–Norton group and in 1979 together with John Conway proved there is a connection between the Monster group and the j-function in number theory. They dubbed this monstrous moonshine and made some conjectures later proved by Richard Borcherds. Norton was one of the authors of the ATLAS of Finite Groups. He also made several early discoveries in Conway's Game of Life, and invented the game Snort. However, he has not held an academic position since 1985, and currently lives in his basement.
Norton is the subject of the biography The Genius In My Basement, written by his Cambridge tenant, Alexander Masters. He is also an occasional contributor to Word Ways: The Journal of Recreational Linguistics.
- ^ from the Masters biography
- ^ Poundstone, William (1985), The recursive universe: cosmic complexity and the limits of scientific knowledge, Contemporary Books, p. 7, ISBN 978-0-8092-5202-2
- ^ Masters, Alexander (1 September 2011), The Genius in My Basement, London: HarperCollins, ISBN 978-0-00-724338-9, LCCN 2011535364, OCLC 739420610