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I have been looking for the first appearance of the Conway base 13 function in the literature, but the only thing I have found is the wikipedia article whose unique element in the bibliography I cannot find in the given place. And after searching, I have not found any clue in the Internet about its first appearance or original article. Any help?

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Have you considered emailing John Conway? He could probably point you to the paper where he defined it. He's at Princeton, check the math department webpage. – Craig Nov 4 '11 at 12:47
I will try to do that. – Josué Tonelli-Cueto Nov 4 '11 at 18:09
@Craig I obtained the answer from a friend that was there. – Josué Tonelli-Cueto Jul 5 '13 at 9:24

As Craig said you could email him or talk to him at this summer school this very summer.

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I have sent an e-mail last year, but I dind't received an answer. – Josué Tonelli-Cueto Apr 16 '13 at 18:08
@IasafroMaesman This is rather normal, he is extremely busy and I don't think he personally checks his email. With due respect I think your question is too trivial for him, unless you talk to him in person. Do think about the summer opportunity though, I know he will be there for sure. – mez Apr 16 '13 at 22:37
I am sure that he is busy, and that my e-mail can pass without attention. Unfortunately I cannot go there in summer. Thus, if somebody else goes there, feel free to ask. – Josué Tonelli-Cueto Apr 17 '13 at 21:52
I obtained the answer from a friend there. – Josué Tonelli-Cueto Jul 5 '13 at 9:26
up vote 1 down vote accepted

A colleague of mine at my faculty, Jon Asier Bárcena, attended to Modern Mathematics- International Summer School for Students. There he was able to talk directly to John H. Conway, and according to him, Conway said that it was developed during his teaching activity while he was planting questions to his students in a course. So apparently, the primary source is a lecture from him.

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