Last edited 03jan01 by gfrancis@uiuc.edu
Find this document at http://new.math.uiuc.edu/zipproof

On Conway's ZIP Proof

Some years ago, John Conway found a particularly memorable way of proving the fundamental theorem of compact surfaces. Jeff Weeks wrote the text and George Francis drew the pictures for an article in the Monthly.

These web pages are about the pictures. But you can read a .pdf file about Conway's ZIP proof here.

For a start, here are some power point slides for a talk at Miami University of Ohio last fall which say something about how the pictures evolved. For the moment these are readable only on a late model Microsoft browser because they were made by a Microsoft slide-to-web utility. But here are generic versions in png and in jpg formats. Let me know if you can a difference in quality of the images (don't forget to mention which browser you used).

There will be more here as interest in this page becomes evident. We also intend to air interesting objections to Conway's ZIP Proof which we received in the mail after the publication.

George and Jeff