John Horton Conway

English mathematician (1937–2020)

John Horton Conway FRS[2] (26 December 1937 – 11 April 2020) was an English mathematician. He is known for his theory of finite groups, knot theory, number theory, combinatorial game theory and coding theory.

John H. Conway
John H Conway 2005 (cropped).jpg
John Horton Conway

(1937-12-26)26 December 1937[1]
Died11 April 2020(2020-04-11) (aged 82)
Alma materGonville and Caius College, Cambridge (BA, MA, PhD)
Known for
Scientific career
InstitutionsPrinceton University
ThesisHomogeneous ordered sets (1964)
Doctoral advisorHarold Davenport[3]
Doctoral students Leonard Hyman Soicher[3]

He also worked in many branches of recreational mathematics, mainly for the invention of the cellular automaton called the Game of Life.

Conway was a Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Princeton University in New Jersey.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10]

Conway died of COVID-19 on 11 April 2020 in New Brunswick, New Jersey at the age of 82.[11] He was diagnosed with the infection three days before his death.[11]


  1. "CONWAY, Prof. John Horton". Who's Who 2014, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2014; online edn, Oxford University Press.(subscription required)
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Royal Society: John Conway Biography
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 John Horton Conway at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  4. Conway, J. H.; Hardin, R. H.; Sloane, N. J. A. (1996). "Packing Lines, Planes, etc.: Packings in Grassmannian Spaces". Experimental Mathematics. 5 (2): 139. arXiv:math/0208004. doi:10.1080/10586458.1996.10504585. S2CID 10895494.
  5. Template:Scopus
  6. Conway, J. H.; Sloane, N. J. A. (1990). "A new upper bound on the minimal distance of self-dual codes". IEEE Transactions on Information Theory. 36 (6): 1319. doi:10.1109/18.59931.
  7. Conway, J. H.; Sloane, N. J. A. (1993). "Self-dual codes over the integers modulo 4". Journal of Combinatorial Theory, Series A. 62: 30–45. doi:10.1016/0097-3165(93)90070-O.
  8. Conway, J.; Sloane, N. (1982). "Fast quantizing and decoding and algorithms for lattice quantizers and codes" (PDF). IEEE Transactions on Information Theory. 28 (2): 227. doi:10.1109/TIT.1982.1056484.
  9. Conway, J. H.; Lagarias, J. C. (1990). "Tiling with polyominoes and combinatorial group theory". Journal of Combinatorial Theory, Series A. 53 (2): 183. doi:10.1016/0097-3165(90)90057-4.
  10. MacTutor History of Mathematics archive: John Horton Conway
  11. 11.0 11.1 COVID-19 Kills Renowned Princeton Mathematician, 'Game Of Life' Inventor John Conway In 3 Days