Usually my blog posts are rather tightly focused, but today I’d just like to post a few stream-of-consciousness thoughts.
(1) My blog was recently featured in the AMS Blog on Math Blogs. Perhaps by mentioning this here I can create some sort of infinite recursion which crashes the internet and forces a reboot of the year 2020.
John Horton Conway died on April 11, 2020, at the age of 82, from complications related to COVID-19. See this obituary from Princeton University for an overview of Conway’s life and contributions to mathematics. Many readers of this blog will already be familiar with the Game of Life, surreal numbers, the Doomsday algorithm, monstrous moonshine, Sprouts, and the 15 theorem, to name just a few of Conway’s contributions to mathematics. In any case, much has already been written about all of these topics and I cannot do justice to them in a short blog post like this. So instead, I’ll focus on describing a handful of Conway’s somewhat lesser-known mathematical gems.