**John Horton Conway** (born December 26, 1937, Liverpool, England) is a prolific mathematician active in the theory of finite groups, knot theory, number theory, combinatorial game theory and coding theory.

Among amateur mathematicians, he is perhaps most widely known for his combinatorial game theory, in particular the creation of the Game of Life. He is also one of the inventors of the Sprouts game, as well as Phutball, and he developed detailed analyses of many other games and puzzles, such as the Soma cube.

He invented a new number system, the surreal numbers, which are closely related to certain games and have been the subject of a mathematical novel by Donald Knuth. He also invented an nomenclature for exceedingly large numbers, the Conway chained arrow.

Conway is professor of mathematics at Princeton University. He studied at Cambridge University. In 1981 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.

He has written several books including *On Numbers and Games* and *Winning Ways for your Mathematical Plays*.

Many authors put his name on their papers to have the papers published.

## External links and references

- O' Connor, Robertson, "John Horton Conway", MacTutor biography, http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/history/Mathematicians/Conway.html
- Mark Alpert, "Not Just Fun and Games",
*Scientific American*April 1999. online version