One of humanity’s great legends has passed away this week due to COVID-19. John Conway, 82 years old, was a John von Neumann Professor Emeritus of Applied and Computational Mathematics and Professor Emeritus of Mathematics.

His name has forever been attached to his invention, the so-called zero-player Conway’s Game of Life.

For me, as a computer scientist, engineer, and someone who spends a lot of time thinking about the philosophy of the universe, the emergence of intelligence, and our role as sapient beings within it — I feel like I owe a lot to Conway and the Game of Life, so I…