On today’s episode of Modern Notion Daily, our guest is Siobhan Roberts, author of Genius at Play: The Curious Mind of John Horton Conway (Bloomsbury USA, July 2015). Roberts spent seven years writing this biography of one of the most famous contemporary mathematicians and creator of the Game of Life. The magnitude of Conway’s genius is matched only by his playfulness and charisma; Roberts even describes him as “seductive.” But that intensity has a dark side, too.

Music this hour: