Remembering Richard Guy

1916-2020

Emeritus professor and mathematician Dr. Richard Guy passed away on March 9, 2020. He was a teacher, colleague, philanthropist, mountaineer, and treasured friend who will be greatly missed and fondly remembered.

Passionate about life and learning, Richard held many roles and was a pillar of the community since he arrived in Calgary in 1965 alongside his beloved late wife, Louise. He and Louise supported the University of Calgary since its beginnings as a new university in 1966. They dedicated themselves to sharing their zest for life and Richard’s love of mathematics with students, colleagues, and the community.

As a mathematician, Richard was a world-renowned combinatorist and graph theorist who made profound and important contributions to pure and applied math, and to the early years of computer science. He published over 300 scholarly articles, with one notably holding a record for the greatest age gap between co-authors. Though he was undoubtedly preeminent in his field, he strove to make mathematics accessible to all. Through his own efforts and some personal funds, he and Louise worked with the Strens family and the Government of Alberta to bring the Eugène Strens Recreational Mathematics Collection to the University of Calgary library. Another of the couple’s lasting contributions to the University of Calgary is the popular Richard and Louise Guy lecture series, which was a 90th birthday present from Louise to Richard in recognition of his love of mathematics.

Richard marked his 103rd birthday on Sept. 30, 2019. Although he retired in 1982, Richard insisted, “I didn’t retire. They just stopped paying me.” Even as his age entered triple digits, Richard often spent five days a week at his office in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

The University of Calgary celebrated his 100th birthday and its 50th anniversary milestone year in 2016. We could not be more proud that the inspirational, incomparable Richard Guy chose to share part of his life with us.

The Faculty of Science mourns the loss of Richard Guy who passed away on March 9, 2020.  We encourage you to share your fond memories of Richard.


Dr. Richard Guy

Call for Submissions

To honour Richard’s memory, the Canadian mathematics problem solving journal Crux Mathematicorum (www.math.ca/crux) will have a special issue in fall 2020.

Submit problems and short articles on topics Richard would have found interesting, provided they are at the high school or early undergraduate level (befitting the purpose and readership of Crux). As well, the journal is accepting tributes and reminiscences.

If you would like to contribute to the special issue, please send the materials to crux-editors@cms.math.ca by September 1, 2020

Dr. Richard Guy

Celebrating Richard Guy (October 1 - 4, 2020)

Join us for a series of events celebrating the life of Emeritus professor and mathematician Dr. Richard Guy.  He was an inspirational teacher, colleague, philanthropist, mountaineer, and treasured friend who will be greatly missed and fondly remembered.

Your memories of Richard

Professor Richard Guy influenced me immensely in what I try to do. Among many memories that are with me, one of them stood out. I was lucky to sit in MS586 office from where I could watch Professor Richard Guy walking from Number 9 bus stop to the Math Sciences building with his ski-poles in the middle of cold winter. This was when he was 102. What a courageous, and dedicated worker!

In a difficult world we live in, we look up to someone who would provide us the encouragement and enthusiasm we periodically need. He is not here but his spirits will be with us for years to come.

Kris Vasudevan, September 15, 2020

I did my Bachelor's in PMAT at UofC, 1988-1992.

I remember Dr. Guy well. i also enjoyed his recreational mathematics with Conway, and Dewdney. When "Uncle Paul" Erdős came to visit UofC, we had some interesting discussions.

Lived to 103? Wow. Really shows the benefit of keeping your mind active.

Geoffrey Falk (September 15, 2020)

I had the pleasure of meeting Richard the first and last time on October 9, 2019. He sat in the front row of a lecture I was giving for the Emeriti Association on Music Therapy. Richard spoke of his love for music, something I had learned from his wife Louise and friend Dr. Carole Lynne Le Navenac many years before. Louise and I spoke in Carole-Lynne's class about how the arts, including movement and music, can help all of us throughout our lifespan. Richard and Louise were mentors to so many of us in this regard. Thank you both for your teachings - I will never forget you.

Jennifer Buchanan, September 7, 2020

I was very happy to have conversations at the Emeriti Association sessions, particularly those involving music, as well as the Christmas 2017 celebration of Richard's 100th anniversary. ( I can forward you a picture taken from that event if you wish).  I shared with him how his wife told me that the three things she thought explained their good health in later life: exercise, including cross country skiing, hiking and dancing, plus their parents contributions--good genes. My thoughts and prayers go out to all his family.

Carole-Lynne Le Navenec, September 7, 2020
(RN,PhD; Associate Professor Emerita-Nursing, University of Calgary and
Director, Creative Arts/Integrative Therapies in Health Care Research Group

In his younger days, Richard was a keen composer of chess endgame studies, and the endgame study columnist of the British Chess Magazine. As one of his successors, I have posted a tribute to him in this capacity on the Orthodox Chess / Endgames page of www.jsbeasley.co.uk.

John Beasley, August 2, 2020

In 2013, when I was studying at the UofC, the Number Theory group had regular meetings called number noshes. This was the place where we would meet, have our lunch, and chat about our work. This is where I met Prof. Richard Guy. During one of the noshes, he mentioned that he wanted to go to the gardeners' meeting somewhere in Atlanta, but was having trouble purchasing tickets online. So I agreed to help, knowing nothing about Prof. Guy's age. I went to his office and, first of all, noticed that he was using the operating system called Fedora. Unix users would agree that the choice is far from being obvious. Next, I noticed that he was using some browser I never heard about, and whose name I cannot even remember now. This turned out to be the problem: because the browser was non-conventional, switching to Firefox resolved the issue and Expedia worked just fine. So I opened it for him, but Prof. Guy asked me to stay and fill in the slots with details. So I did. I filled in the city of departure (Calgary) and the city of arrival (Atlanta), indicated that this was a return flight, and specified the date Prof. Guy told me. Then comes the time to fill in the details about the traveler, and so I asked him about the date of birth. And then entered: September 30th, 1916.

Anton Mosunov, March 26, 2020


Birthday wishes for Richard Guy's 100th birthday

Birthday greeting from our previous chancellor. View more birthday wishes here.

Research areas

  • Number Theory
  • Graph Theory
  • Combinatorial geometry
  • Enumerative combinatorics
  • Combinatorial games

Richard Guy Publications

Books

  • Berlekamp, Elwyn R., Conway, John H. and Guy, Richard. Winning ways for your mathematical plays. {V}ol. 4 A K Peters Ltd., 2004. i-xvi and 801-1004. Print.
  • Berlekamp, Elwyn R., Conway, John H. and Guy, Richard. Winning ways for your mathematical plays. {V}ol. 2 A K Peters Ltd., 2003. i-xviii and 277-473. Print.
  • Berlekamp, Elwyn R., Conway, John H. and Guy, Richard. Winning ways for your mathematical plays. {V}ol. 3 A K Peters Ltd., 2003. i-xxii and 461-801. Print.
  • Guy, Richard and Nowakowski, Richard. Unsolved problems in combinatorial games 42. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2002. 457-473. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. My thanks to {E}rd{\H o}s {P}\'al 11. J\'anos Bolyai Math. Soc., 2002. 21-23. Print.
  • Vaderlind, Paul, Guy, Richard and Larson, Loren C.. The inquisitive problem solver , Mathematical Association of America, 2002. xvi+327. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. Forty-four years with {P}eter {L}ancaster 130. Birkh\"auser, 2002. 21-22. Print.
  • Berlekamp, Elwyn R., Conway, John H. and Guy, Richard. Winning ways for your mathematical plays. {V}ol. 1 A K Peters Ltd., 2001. xx+276. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. Conference problems session conducted by {J}. {L}. {S}elfridge 19. Amer. Math. Soc., 1999. 385-390. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. Unsolved problems in combinatorial games 29. Cambridge Univ. Press, 1996. 475-491. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. Impartial games 29. Cambridge Univ. Press, 1996. 61-78. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. What is a game? 29. Cambridge Univ. Press, 1996. 43-60. Print.
  • Conway, John H. and Guy, Richard. The book of numbers Copernicus, 1996. x+310. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. Combinatorial games Elsevier, 1995. 2117-2162. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. Unsolved problems in combinatorial games 329. Kluwer Acad. Publ., 1995. 161-179. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. The unity of combinatorics 329. Kluwer Acad. Publ., 1995. 129-159. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. Unsolved problems in number theory , Springer-Verlag, 1994. xvi+285. Print.
  • Guy, Andrew W. P. and Guy, Richard. A record aliquot sequence 48. Amer. Math. Soc., 1994. 557-559. Print.
  • Croft, Hallard T., Falconer, Kenneth J. and Guy, Richard. Unsolved problems in geometry , Springer-Verlag, 1994. xvi+198. Print.
  • Guy, Richard and Nowakowski, Richard. Mousetrap , J\'anos Bolyai Math. Soc., 1993. 193-206. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. Graphs and the strong law of small numbers , Wiley, 1991. 597-614. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. Mathematics from fun \& fun from mathematics: an informal autobiographical history of combinatorial games Springer, 1991. 287-295. Print.
  • Croft, Hallard T., Falconer, Kenneth J. and Guy, Richard. Unsolved problems in geometry , Springer-Verlag, 1991. xvi+198. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. Unsolved problems in combinatorial games 43. Amer. Math. Soc., 1991. 183-189. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. What is a game? 43. Amer. Math. Soc., 1991. 1-21. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. Impartial games 43. Amer. Math. Soc., 1991. 35-55. Print.
  • Guy, Richard and Nowakowski, Richard. The outerthickness \& outercoarseness of graphs. {II}. {T}he complete bipartite graph Bibliographisches Inst., 1990. 313-322. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. Canadian {N}umber {T}heory {A}ssociation unsolved problems 1988 de Gruyter, 1990. 193-206. Print.
  • Guy, Richard and Nowakowski, Richard. The outerthickness \& outercoarseness of graphs. {I}. {T}he complete graph \& the {$n$}-cube Physica, 1990. 297-310. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. Six phases for the eight-lambdas and eight-deltas configurations 48. North-Holland, 1987. 209-237. Print.
  • Berlekamp, Elwyn R., Conway, John H. and Guy, Richard. Gewinnen. {S}trategien f\"ur mathematische {S}piele Friedr. Vieweg \& Sohn, 1986. xvi+274. Print.
  • Berlekamp, Elwyn R., Conway, John H. and Guy, Richard. Gewinnen. {S}trategien f\"ur mathematische {S}piele Friedr. Vieweg \& Sohn, 1985. xiv+161. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. Graphs and games Academic Press, 1983. 269-295. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. Sets of integers whose subsets have distinct sums 60. North-Holland, 1982. 141-154. Print.
  • Berlekamp, Elwyn R., Conway, John H. and Guy, Richard. Winning ways for your mathematical plays. {V}ol. 2 Academic Press Inc. [Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Publishers], 1982. i-xxxiii and 429-850 and i-xix. Print.
  • Berlekamp, Elwyn R., Conway, John H. and Guy, Richard. Winning ways for your mathematical plays. {V}ol. 1 Academic Press Inc. [Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Publishers], 1982. xxxi+426+xi. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. Unsolved problems in number theory 1. Springer-Verlag, 1981. xviii+161. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. Partisan and impartial combinatorial games 18. North-Holland, 1978. 437-461. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. Aliquot sequences Academic Press, 1977. 111-118. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. Packing {$[1,n]$} with solutions of {$ax+by=cz$}. {T}he unity of combinatorics Accad. Naz. Lincei, 1976. 173-179. Atti dei Convegni Lincei, No. 17. Print.
  • Guy, Richard and Selfridge, J. L.. Optimal coverings of the square Colloq. Math. Soc. J\'anos Bolyai, Vol. 10, North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1975. 745-799. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. Outerthickness and outercoarseness of graphs London Math. Soc. Lecture Note Ser., No. 13, Cambridge Univ. Press, London, 1974. 57-60. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. Crossing numbers of graphs Lecture Notes in Math., Vol. 303, Springer, Berlin, 1972. 111-124. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. Latest results on crossing numbers Lecture Notes in Mathematics, Vol. 186. Springer, Berlin, 1971. 143-156. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. Unsolved combinatorial problems Academic Press, 1971. 121-127. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. Sequences associated with a problem of {T}ur\'an and other problems North-Holland, 1970. 553-569. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. Twenty odd questions in combinatorics Univ. North Carolina, 1970. 209-237. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. A many-facetted problem of {Z}arankiewicz Springer, 1969. 129-148. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. The decline and fall of {Z}arankiewicz's theorem Academic Press, 1969. 63-69. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. A problem of {Z}arankiewicz Academic Press, 1969. 237-243. Print.
  • Guy, Richard and Milner, E. C.. Covering graphs by complete subgraphs Academic Press, 1968. 151-159. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. A problem of {Z}arankiewicz Academic Press, 1968. 119-150. Print.
  • Guy, Richard and Milner, E. C.. Some coverings of sets Gordon and Breach, 1967. 143-146. Print.

Journal articles

  • Guy, Richard. "Aviezri {F}raenkel and combinatorial games". Electronic Journal of Combinatorics 8.2 (2001): Introduction 2, 6 pp. (electronic). Print.
  • Bremner, Andrew, Goggins, Joseph R., Guy, Michael J. T. and Guy, Richard. "On rational {M}orley triangles". Acta Arithmetica 93.2 (2000): 177-187. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. "Catwalks, sandsteps and {P}ascal pyramids". Journal of Integer Sequences 3.1 (2000): Article 00.1.6, 1 HTML document (electronic). Print.
  • Guy, Richard. "Nothing's new in number theory?". The American Mathematical Monthly 105.10 (1998): 951-954. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. "Eric {C}harles {M}ilner: 1928-05-17 to 1997-07-20". Bulletin of the Institute of Combinatorics and its Applications 22. (1998): 10. Print.
  • Bremner, Andrew and Guy, Richard. "Two more representation problems". Proceedings of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society. Series II 40.1 (1997): 1-17. Print.
  • Conway, John H., Guy, Richard, Schneeberger, W. A. and Sloane, N. J. A.. "The primary pretenders". Acta Arithmetica 78.4 (1997): 307-313. Print.
  • Guy, Richard and Moser, William O. J.. "Numbers of subsequences without isolated odd members". The Fibonacci Quarterly. The Official Journal of the Fibonacci Association 34.2 (1996): 152-155. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. "My favorite elliptic curve: a tale of two types of triangles". The American Mathematical Monthly 102.9 (1995): 771-781. Print.
  • Guy, Richard and Nowakowski, Richard. "Monthly unsolved problems, 1969-1995". The American Mathematical Monthly 102.10 (1995): 921-926. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. "Every number is expressible as the sum of how many polygonal numbers?". The American Mathematical Monthly 101.2 (1994): 169-172. Print.
  • Bremner, Andrew, Guy, Richard and Nowakowski, Richard. "Which integers are representable as the product of the sum of three integers with the sum of their reciprocals?". Mathematics of Computation 61.203 (1993): 117-130. Print.
  • Bremner, Andrew and Guy, Richard. "Nu-configurations in tiling the square". Mathematics of Computation 59.199 (1992): 195-202, S1-S20. Print.
  • Guy, Richard, Krattenthaler, C. and Sagan, Bruce E.. "Lattice paths, reflections, \& dimension-changing bijections". Ars Combinatoria 34. (1992): 3-15. Print.
  • Sallows, Lee, Gardner, Martin, Guy, Richard and Knuth, Donald. "Serial isogons of {$90$} degrees". Mathematics Magazine 64.5 (1991): 315-324. Print.
  • Bremner, Andrew and Guy, Richard. "The delta-lambda configurations in tiling the square". Journal of Number Theory 32.3 (1989): 263-280. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. "The strong law of small numbers". The American Mathematical Monthly 95.8 (1988): 697-712. Print.
  • Eggleton, Roger B. and Guy, Richard. "Catalan strikes again! {H}ow likely is a function to be convex?". Mathematics Magazine 61.4 (1988): 211-219. Print.
  • Guy, Richard, Lacampagne, C. B. and Selfridge, J. L.. "Primes at a glance". Mathematics of Computation 48.177 (1987): 183-202. Print.
  • Matiyasevich, Yuri V. and Guy, Richard. "A new formula for {$\pi$}". The American Mathematical Monthly 93.8 (1986): 631-635. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. "John {I}sbell's game of beanstalk and {J}ohn {C}onway's game of beans-don't-talk". Mathematics Magazine 59.5 (1986): 259-269. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. "Conway's prime producing machine". Mathematics Magazine 56.1 (1983): 26-33. Print.
  • Bollob{\'a}s, B and Guy, Richard. "Equitable and proportional coloring of trees". Journal of Combinatorial Theory. Series B 34.2 (1983): 177-186. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. "John {H}orton {C}onway: mathematical magus". The Two-Year College Mathematics Journal 13.5 (1982): 290-299. Print.
  • Erd{\H{o}}s, P., Guy, Richard and Selfridge, J. L.. "Another property of {$239$} and some related questions". Congressus Numerantium. A Conference Journal on Numerical Themes 34. (1982): 243-257. Print.
  • Guy, Richard and Wunderlich, Marvin C.. "Computing unitary aliquot sequences-a preliminary report". , , (1980): 257-270. Print.
  • Guy, Richard and Selfridge, J. L.. "Corrigendum to: ``{W}hat drives an aliquot sequence?'' [{M}ath. {C}omp. {\bf 29} (1975), 101-107;\ {MR} {\bf 52} \#5542]". Mathematics of Computation 34.149 (1980): 319-321. Print.
  • Austin, Richard and Guy, Richard. "Binary sequences without isolated ones". The Fibonacci Quarterly. The Official Journal of the Fibonacci Association 16.1 (1978): 84-86. Print.
  • Devitt, J. S., Guy, Richard and Selfridge, J. L.. "Third report on aliquot sequences". , , (1977): 177-204. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. "How to factor a number". , (1976): 49-89. Congressus Numerantium, No. XVI. Print.
  • Guy, Richard and Ringel, Gerhard. "Triangular imbedding of {$K\sb{n}-K\sb{6}$}". J. Combinatorial Theory Ser. B 21.2 (1976): 140-145. Print.
  • Guy, Richard and Williams, M. R.. "Aliquot sequences near {$10\sp{12}$}". , (1975): 387-406. Print.
  • Guy, Richard and Selfridge, J. L.. "What drives an aliquot sequence?". Math. Comput. 29. (1975): 101-107. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. "Monthly research problems, 1969-75". The American Mathematical Monthly 82.10 (1975): 995-1004. Print.
  • Guy, Richard and Nowakowski, Richard. "Discovering primes with {E}uclid". Delta (Waukesha) 5.2 (1975): 49-63. Print.
  • Erd{\H{o}}s, P., Guy, Richard and Moon, J. W.. "On refining partitions". Journal of the London Mathematical Society. Second Series 9. (1974/75): 565-570. Print.
  • Guy, Richard, Lehmer, D. H., Selfridge, J. L. and Wunderlich, M. C.. "Second report on aliquot sequences". , (1974): 357-368. Print.
  • Guy, Richard and Shanks, Daniel. "A constructed solution of {$\sigma (n)=\sigma (n+1)$}". The Fibonacci Quarterly. The Official Journal of the Fibonacci Association 12. (1974): 299. Print.
  • Guy, Richard and Hill, Anthony. "The crossing number of the complement of a circuit". Discrete Math. 5. (1973): 335-344. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. "A theorem in elementary geometry". Bull. Singapore Math. Soc., (1973): 11-12. Print.
  • Erd{\H{o}}s, P. and Guy, Richard. "Crossing number problems". The American Mathematical Monthly 80. (1973): 52-58. Print.
  • Guy, Richard and Selfridge, J. L.. "The nesting and roosting habits of the laddered parenthesis". The American Mathematical Monthly 80. (1973): 868-876. Print.
  • Guy, Richard and Youngs, J. W. T.. "A smooth and unified proof of cases {$6$}, {$5$} and {$3$} of the {R}ingel-{Y}oungs theorem". J. Combinatorial Theory Ser. B 15. (1973): 1-11. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. "The slimming number and genus of graphs". Canadian Mathematical Bulletin. Bulletin Canadien de Math\'ematiques 15. (1972): 195-200. Print.
  • Guy, Richard and Selfridge, J. L.. "Interim report on aliquot series". , (1971): 557-580. Print.
  • Selfridge, J. L. and Guy, Richard. "Primality testing with application to small machines". , (1971): 45-51. Print.
  • Erd{\H{o}}s, P. and Guy, Richard. "Distinct distances between lattice points". Elemente der Mathematik. Eine Zeitschrift der Schweizerischen Mathematischen Gesellschaft. Une Revue de la Soci\'et\'e Math\'ematique Suisse. Una Rivista della Societ\`a Matematica Svizzera 25. (1970): 121-123. Print.
  • Guy, Richard and Jenkyns, T. A.. "The toroidal crossing number of {$K\sb{m,n}$}". J. Combinatorial Theory 6. (1969): 235-250. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. "The primes {$1093$} and {$3511$}". Math. Student 35. (1969): 204-206 (1969). Print.
  • Beineke, Lowell W. and Guy, Richard. "The coarseness of the complete bipartite graph". Canadian Journal of Mathematics. Journal Canadien de Math\'ematiques 21. (1969): 1086-1096. Print.
  • Guy, Richard, Jenkyns, Tom and Schaer, Jonathan. "The toroidal crossing number of the complete graph". J. Combinatorial Theory 4. (1968): 376-390. Print.
  • Guy, Richard and Kelly, Patrick A.. "The no-three-in-line problem". Canadian Mathematical Bulletin. Bulletin Canadien de Math\'ematiques 11. (1968): 527-531. Print.
  • Guy, Richard and Beineke, Lowell W.. "The coarseness of the complete graph". Canadian Journal of Mathematics. Journal Canadien de Math\'ematiques 20. (1968): 888-894. Print.
  • Guy, Richard and Milner, E. C.. "Graphs defined by coverings of a set". Acta Math. Acad. Sci. Hungar. 19. (1968): 7-21. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. "A coarseness conjecture of {E}rd{\H o}s". J. Combinatorial Theory 3. (1967): 38-42. Print.
  • Guy, Richard and Harary, Frank. "On the {M}\"obius ladders". Canadian Mathematical Bulletin. Bulletin Canadien de Math\'ematiques 10. (1967): 493-496. Print.
  • Guy, Richard. "Two theorems on partitions". Math. Gaz. 42. (1958): 84-86. Print.
  • Guy, Richard and Smith, Cedric A. B.. "The {$G$}-values of various games". Proc. Cambridge Philos. Soc. 52. (1956): 514-526. Print.

Preprint

  • Guy, Richard. "The Lighthouse Theorem - A Budget of Paradoxes." Print.