Maryam Mirzakhani, first woman to win top mathematics prize, dies

16 July, 2017, 00:22 | Author: Sam Montgomery
  • Iranian Math Genius Mirzakhani Dies of Cancer

Stanford mathematics professor Maryam Mirzakhani, the first woman to win the Fields Medal, mathematics' leading award, has died of cancer at the age of 40, Stanford News Service said. She received her bachelor's degree from Iran's Sharif University of Technology in 1999 and earned a PhD degree in mathematics from Harvard University in 2004.

After a long battle with cancer, Professor Mirzakhani succumbed to cancer at the age of 40 at a hospital in the USA on Saturday. In 2008 she became a professor of mathematics at Stanford.

Professor Maryam Mirzakhani was the recipient of the 2014 Fields Medal, the top honor in mathematics.

"Mirzakhani specialized in theoretical mathematics that read like a foreign language by those outside of mathematics: moduli spaces, Teichmüller theory, hyperbolic geometry, Ergodic theory and symplectic geometry".

Mirzakhani's other notable achievements included two gold medals in the International Mathematical Olympiad as a teenager.

The award was established in 1936.

"It breaks my heart... gone far too soon", she wrote.

Firouz Naderi’s post in Instagram in reaction to Mirzakhani’s death
Firouz Naderi’s post in Instagram in reaction to Mirzakhani’s death

Friend Firouz Naderi announced Mirzakhani's death on Saturday on Instagram and relatives subsequently confirmed her death to the Mehr agency in Iran.

Last year, she became the first Iranian woman to be elected to the US National Academy of Sciences.

"A light was turned off today".

"A genius? Yes. But also a daughter, a mother and a wife", he added in a subsequent post.

Stanford said her work involved the geometric and dynamic complexities of curved surfaces such as spheres and doughnut shapes. "I felt that this was something I could do, and I wanted to pursue this path". In Iran, President Hassan Rouhani said that Mirzakhani's "doleful passing" has caused "great sorrow", state media reported. She then taught at Princeton University before moving to Stanford in 2008.

Maryam Mirzakhani is awarded with the 2014 Fields medal at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Seoul, South Korea on August 13, 2014.

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