Talk:John Horton Conway/Archive 1

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Archive 1

Another Conway

There is also another mathematician called John Conway (working in complex analysis and associated with Indiana University). Perhaps there should be some mention of this in this article.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:57, 15 April 2005 (UTC)

Despite having his book, and having attended IU, I was never tempted to confuse the two. Septentrionalis 18:43, 5 September 2005 (UTC)

Infobox Discussion

The infobox on the Conway article has been removed. Please discuss your arguments for removal or retention in order to acheive consensus. Here is a sample to remind you what it looked like:

bunix 03:20, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Well, over a week has passed and there have been no dissenting voices. So I am now reverting the infobox. In future, please discuss here before doing large removals. bunix 08:45, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

I'm sorry not to have noticed this; but I would think a much shorter infobox would be preferable. This takes up half the page with repetitions. Septentrionalis 17:57, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
I personally don't like this infobox very much. I think it's better to have the info in prose form in the body of the article. In any case, the infobox is much too long. --C S (Talk) 00:11, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

OK, I have ruthlessly shortened it to comply with your suggestions. If anyone else has anymore suggestion or arguments for and against inclusion of stuff, I am happy to try to oblige. Best regards, bunix 01:12, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Link to videos of lectures of Conway

Hi, give a link to several online articles of Conway : the tiles are Lectures

Calendar Conundrums Archimedes and His World Cantor's Infinities Goedel and Undecidability Geometry, Logic and Physics Escher and Symmetry Finally, Fun

at lease some of them have been read at Northwestern U.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:26, 1 September 2006 (UTC)


I'm sure that Conway has been married three times. His second wife was Lara Queen (also a mathematician), the mother of Alex (fondly termed the "Baby Monster") and Oliver. I don't know the dates, though. Richard Pinch 11:41, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

John has indeed been married three times. First wife Eileen, second wife Larissa, third wife Diana. His son Alex was born in 1983, and Oliver in 1988, to answer the below question.
Diana Conway 03:58, 22 November 2006 (UTC)


On the same page as the image here now, there are a few other images, including one much less blurry and in color. Should it perhaps be changed? N Shar 00:55, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Unfortunately, there may be problems with images from that site. They don't know for certain that the pics are public domain, and the one taken by Paul Halmos, for example, is almost certainly not in public domain. I had a picture of RH Bing that I got from the site, deleted because it was not clearly public domain. So I suspect the pic in the article too may raise issues. --C S (Talk) 07:15, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Thane Plambeck has provided a good, recent, fully cc-by-2.0 licensed photo. He even cleared it with JHC.Dan Hoey 17:40, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
Cool, in color and an interesting angle. --C S (Talk) 17:53, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Game theory

An entire section on game theory was removed by anon Thoughts? Tom Ruen 20:59, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Oops, I didn't even notice that had happened! Obviously it shouldn't have been removed. It looks inadvertent, so I've added it back. --C S (Talk) 21:38, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Cellular Automata

"... the Game of Life, a cellular automata". Hm. Automata is plural, and the Game of Life is just one example of a cellular automaton, but the link is to the plural form. How do we handle this? Andrew 06:31, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Angel problem

The article stated that the angel problem was solved in 2006. I removed it, please give a source, the article angel problem says it's still unsolved. 12:05, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

Well, the lede of angel problem said that, although the body didn't really say that. But I admit the situation would have been hard to make out anyway as the info that two of the four claimed proof was published had been removed. That info has been re-added. --C S (Talk) 12:56, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
Oops, I should change the lede too! --C S (Talk) 12:59, 13 May 2007 (UTC)


I am surprised that there are basically no cited references in this page and that various biographical facts are not explicitly sourced. It should be easy enough to provide explicit references for most salient facts (honors, prizes, etc). Regards, Nsk92 14:59, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Ph.D. dissertation

Anyone know what was the title of his Ph.D. dissertation? Kier07 (talk) 03:25, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Mathematics Genealogy Project

The Mathematics Genealogy Project gives 18 students of Conway. This entry needs correlating with that, (talk) 02:26, 25 December 2009 (UTC)John McKay


Article says "Conway is currently professor of mathematics at Princeton University" I am sure he is still very actively but in employment terms isn't he retired? I make him 71? --BozMo talk 10:24, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

AFAIK, professors (tenured?) in the US do not automatically retire at any age. (See e.g. this.) Someone correct me if I'm wrong. Shreevatsa (talk) 13:47, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
Wow learn something every day. Poor guy. He lectured me at Cambridge but I was never sure if he was worn out or hung over. --BozMo talk 15:55, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
Having had Professor Conway for my freshman year math class at Princeton in 2005, I can attest to his unimaginable brilliance, worn out or hung over. He is still a professor, and still teaches- though he is somewhat less active since his stroke. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:11, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

Michael Guy

I changed a mistaken reference from Richard Guy to Michael Guy in regards to uniform polychora. [1] Tom Ruen 21:34, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

Michael Guy now points to a musician. I am replacing the mathematical links I can find that now point to his article to Michael J. T. Guy. —David Eppstein 03:39, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
Michael Guy once again points at the right Guy. In future, please use a link to Michael Guy (computer scientist) (which will forever avoid the disambiguation problem with Michael Guy (musician)). HairyWombat 23:41, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

"Various" wives?

Surely someone can do better than: "He has seven children by various marriages".

Most biographical articles manage to give names to the women involved. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:12, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

Added the names of his first two wives from section #Family above. HairyWombat 18:24, 25 November 2011 (UTC)


This guy looks like Ronald Graham. (talk) 08:31, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

The four-year-old Conway

This article states that "[Conway's] mother recalled that he could recite the powers of two when he was four years old."

Can someone supply a reference for this? I find this somewhat difficult to believe. Even assuming that Conway began reciting the powers of two the moment he turned four years old (on 26 December 1941), and assuming he spoke at the rate of one power-of-two each second, by the time his fifth birthday arrived he would have reached only as high as 231535999, and based on my limited math background I am fairly sure there are even higher powers of two than this. If someone does have a reference, however, then the quote should remain, since it would then be verifiable per Wikipedia guidelines. — Lawrence King (talk) 23:32, 3 June 2013 (UTC)