Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Richard Guy passed away at the age of 103

Richard Guy passed away on March 9, 2020 at the age of 103. Before he died he was the worlds oldest living mathematician (see here for a list of centenarians who are famous scientists or mathematicians). He was also the oldest active mathematician-- he had a paper on arxiv (see here) in October of 2019.  (ADDED later since a commenter pointed it out to me--- a paper by Berlekamp and Guy posted in 2020: here)

I met him twice- once at a Gathering for Gardner, and once at an AMS meeting. I told him that Berlekamp-Conway-Guy had a great influence on me. He asked if it was a positive or negative influence. He also seemed to like my talk on The Muffin Problem, though he might have been being polite.

I did a blog about Richard Guy on his 103rd birthday, so I recommend readers to go there
for more about him.  One point I want to re-iterate:

Richard Guy thought of himself of an amateur mathematician. If he means someone who does it for love of the subject then this is clearly true.  If it is a measure of how good he is (the term `amateur' is sometimes used as an insult) then it is clearly false. If it means someone who does not have formal training than it is partially true.


  1. Pretty sure that arxiv link you have points to the wrong paper.

  2. Why you selected October paper, not this https://arxiv.org/abs/2002.03705 February 2020 paper?

  3. I have added that paper to the post. Thanks.

  4. Hello Sir,
    the "Berlekamp-Conway-Guy" that has an influence at you ,is it the book which the title is :"Winning Ways for your Mathematical Plays",or something else.
    Thank you.

    1. Yes, it was Winning Ways for your Mathematical Plays