Conway’s Game of Life: Mathematics and Construction

Conway's Game of Life: Mathematics and Construction

This book provides an introduction to Conway’s Game of Life, the interesting mathematics behind it, and the methods used to construct many of its most interesting patterns. Lots of small “building block”-style patterns (especially in the first four or so chapters of this book) were found via brute-force or other computer searches, and the book does not go into the details of how these searches were implemented. However, from that point on it tries to guide the reader through the thought processes and ideas that are needed to combine those patterns into more interesting composite ones.

While the book largely follows the history of the Game of Life, that is not its primary purpose. Rather, it is a by-product of the fact that most recently discovered patterns build upon patterns and techniques that were developed earlier. The goal of this book is to demystify the Game of Life by breaking down the complex patterns that have been developed in it into bite-size chunks that can be understood individually.


Supplementary material:

What people are saying about it:

  • Book review by the Mathematical Association of America

Citation/bibliographic information:

  • Authors: Nathaniel Johnston and Dave Greene
  • Cite as: N. Johnston and D. Greene. Conway’s Game of Life: Mathematics and Construction. Self-published, 2022. doi: 10.5281/zenodo.6097284
  • DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.6097284
  • ISBN: 978-1-794-81696-1
  • BibTeX entry:
          title={Conway's Game of Life: Mathematics and Construction},
          author={Nathaniel Johnston and Dave Greene},