Maryam Mirzakhani, First Woman To Win Math's Highest Honour, Dead At 40

Alain Brian
Juillet 18, 2017

President Rouhani has issued a statement praising Iranian math genius Maryam Mirzakhani, the first woman to win mathematics' fields medal, who died at 40 on Saturday. The university did not say where she died.

"A light was turned off today", he said in a post.

Mirzakhani was awarded the Fields Medal ― affectionately referred to as the "Nobel Prize for Mathematics" ― in 2014 for her work on dynamical systems and complex geometry. "Breaks my heart", former NASA scientist Firouz Naderi said in a tweet. "But also a daughter, a mother and a wife".

"The unparalleled brilliance of this creative scientist and yet humble person which made the name of Iran resonate in the world's scientific community was a milestone in introducing the grand efforts and determination of Iranian women and youth for climbing the peaks of success in various global fields", Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a message on Saturday.

Mirzakhani was born in Tehran, Iran, and she lived in that country before coming to the U.S.to attend graduate school at Harvard University. "I felt that this was something I could do, and I wanted to pursue this path".

"There were more accolades", Danielle Karson reports for NPR's Newscast unit. Mirzakhani was the first woman and first Iranian to receive the honour since its creation in 1936.

"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". She was ambitious, resolute and fearless in the face of problems others would not, or could not, tackle.

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