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Black and white photo of John Conway against a black background
Abstractions blog

John Conway Solved Mathematical Problems With His Bare Hands

April 20, 2020

The legendary mathematician, who died on April 11, was curious, colorful and one of the greatest problem-solvers of his generation.

Photo of Freeman Dyson standing in a meadow in front of a forest
Quantized Columns

Remembering the Unstoppable Freeman Dyson

April 13, 2020

Freeman Dyson — physicist, mathematician, writer and idea factory — died on February 28, but his vitality lives on.

Nelson, wearing hiking gear, smiles at the camera at the top of a rocky outcrop.
Quantized Columns

Ann Nelson Took On the Biggest Problems in Physics

August 22, 2019

The theoretical particle physicist Ann Nelson, who died on August 4 at age 61, was a font of brilliant ideas and a champion of ending discrimination in the field.

Photo of Stephen Hawking in 1979 in Princeton, New Jersey.
Abstractions blog

Why Stephen Hawking’s Black Hole Puzzle Keeps Puzzling

March 14, 2018

The renowned British physicist, who died at 76, left behind a riddle that could eventually lead his successors to the theory of quantum gravity.

520px photo of Joe Polchinski
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Physicists Mourn Joe Polchinski, Developer of Deep Ideas and Paradoxes

February 20, 2018

The theoretical physicist Joe Polchinski, who died February 2, left a tremendous professional and personal legacy, says a friend and collaborator.

Vladimir Voevodsky
Abstractions blog

Visionary Mathematician Vladimir Voevodsky Dies at 51

October 11, 2017

Voevodsky’s friends remember him as constitutionally unable to compromise on the truth — a quality that led him to produce some of the most important mathematics of the 20th century.

Maryam Mirzakhani
Quantized Columns

The Beautiful Mathematical Explorations of Maryam Mirzakhani

July 24, 2017

After her untimely death, Maryam Mirzakhani’s life is best remembered through her work.