1998 Frederic Esser Nemmers Mathematics Prize Recipient
Congratulations to the 1998 Nemmers Mathematics Prize winner
John H. Conway, Princeton University
1998 Nemmers Prize in Mathematics Recipient
John H. Conway
For his work in the study of finite groups, knot theory, number theory, game theory, coding theory, tiling, and the creation of new number systems
John H. Conway is von Neumann Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University.
Conway, one of the preeminent theorists in the study of finite groups (the mathematical abstraction of symmetry) and one of the world's foremost knot theorists, is the author of more than 10 books and more than 130 journal articles on a wide variety of mathematical subjects. He has also done path-breaking work in number theory, game theory, coding theory, tiling, and the creation of new number systems. The system of "Surreal Numbers" which he invented is the subject of a popular book by computer scientist Donald Knuth.
Beyond the academic world Conway is widely known as the inventor of the "Game of Life," a computer simulation of simple cellular "life," governed by remarkably simple rules which give rise to amazingly complex behavior. It was popularized by Martin Gardner's columns in Scientific American in the early 1970s and has had a large number of devotees ever since.
Conway may well have the distinction of having more books, articles and Web pages devoted to his creations than any other living mathematician.
Conway was educated at Cambridge University and served as a professor of mathematics there prior to joining Princeton in 1986. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and received of the Polya Prize of the London Mathematical Society.