John Horton Conway, one of the world’s most celebrated mathematicians, will be awarded a Doctor Honoris Causa title at the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University. The event will take place in Aula Magna Mihai Eminescu, on Tuesday the 24th at 12.00.
John Conway is born in Liverpool in 1937. Mathematics is present in his life from his very early years: at the age of 4 he can enumerate the powers of 2; seven years later, in an interview for secondary school, his answer to the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” is “A mathematician at Cambridge” – which he achieved at age 27.
John Conway obtains his BA in 1959 and is awarded his doctorate in 1962. The same year, he is appointed College Fellow and Lecturer in Pure Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. In 1975, John Conway is promoted to reader in Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics, and in 1983, he becomes a Professor at Cambridge. In 1987, he is appointed to the John von Neumann Chair of Mathematics at Princeton University.
Out of Conway’s comprehensive contributions to Mathematics, let us mention only some in the fields of Group Theory, The Game of Life (a simple universal cellular automaton), Surreal numbers, Knot Theory, Combinatorial game theory, Theoretical Physics and Notations.
John Conway’s outstanding contributions received not only admiration, but, as an expression of this, some of the most prestigious prizes in Mathematics. In 1971, Conway was awarded the Berwick Prize by the London Mathematical Society. Ten years later, Conway was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of London.
In 1987, John Conway became the first recipient of the Pólya Prize of the London Mathematical Society. According to the LMS regulations, “The Pólya Prize is awarded in recognition of outstanding creativity in, imaginative exposition of, or distinguished contribution to, Mathematics within the United Kingdom”. The Nemmers Prize was established in 1994 by Northwestern University, envisioning the creation of a reward that would be as prestigious as the Nobel Prize in Mathematics, Economics, Medical Sciences and Music. In 1998, John Conway received this prize in Mathematics “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”.
He was also awarded the Leroy P. Steele Prize for Mathematical Exposition by the American Mathematical Society, in 2000.
John Horton Conways’ conferences in Iaşi will mark the official opening of the Grigore Moisil Institute, a joint inniative of Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iaşi and the University of Bucharest. The official opening event will also include mathematics lectures delivered by Solomon Marcus, Romanian Academy Fellow, Sorin Istrail – professor at Brown University, Dan Simovici – professor at Massachusetts University, as well as Dragoş Vaida and Sergiu Rudeanu, Emeritus Professors at the University of Bucharest. The conferences resume the Distinguished Moisil Lectures started by the Nobel Laureate Kenneth Arrow in Iaşi in October 2013.