People think that mathematics is complicated. Mathematics is the simple bit, it’s the stuff we CAN understand. It’s cats that are complicated. – John Conway 1937-2020
John Conway Interests me because of his work in a variety of math subjects. He studied the theory of finite groups, knot theory, number theory, combinatorial game theory, and coding theory. He moved between subjects always learning and making new things, like the doomsday rule or the game of life. Personally, I tend to jump from new ideas to new ideas trying to learn as much as I can as fast as I can, so I feel that we have some connection. He inspires me to want to have a career in mathematics when I grow up. I also enjoy math and have an analytical mind and I enjoy challenges. I aspire to be more open to learning and understanding new things like john Conway. I also aspire to be better at communicating with other people like him. Some challenges I could have with connecting with John Conway is that he worked with very complex math, so it could be hard to get in his headspace and that he was an adult, and I am still a kid. And because I am still a kid, I have never held a job but, he was known for his career. Even though I am still a kid I could research, learn, and study what he taught in order to have a better understanding of his work and who he was. When I grow up, I think that I will get a stronger connection when I start my career. He contributed to society and the field of mathematics by working on the theory of finite groups, knot theory, number theory, combinatorial game theory, and coding theory. He left a ding in the universe by teaching mathematics at Princeton. I don’t think that he’s someone who will become more famous in 50 to 100 years as time goes by than he because he did not win a lot of awards and also because generally, mathematicians are not as famous as celebrities. He is worth researching because he was an inspiration to his students and peers alike. He moved through math making discoveries and teaching the public in a way that kept their interest. He wasn’t called “the world’s most charismatic mathematician” for nothing. I picked him over other mathematicians because he did not settle down and work in one field, he moved between them and shared his genius with the entirety of the math world. One of my takeaways so far from studying John Conway is that you don’t need to stay in one element. This is true not just for math but is also true for all areas of life.