The First Woman to win the notable Fields Award dies at 40

The death of famous mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani has been the cause of grief for many in the international community. This talented mathematician was awarded the Fields Medal in Mathematics in 2014 and made headlines for being the first woman to ever do so. Starting from Sharif University in Tehran, Mirzakhani ended up in Stanford University in San Francisco where she was a professor since 2008.

Mirzakhani had been battling cancer for four years when it spread to her bone marrow. She was just 40 when she died and have been survived by her husband Jan Vondrák, and a daughter, Anahita.

Mirzakhani received the Fields award for her work in understanding the symmetry of curved surfaces. While receiving the award in 2014, the mathematician was quoted saying- ‘It is fun; it’s like solving a puzzle or connecting the dots in a detective case’.

The Fields Medal which is the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for Mathematics, was awarded by the International Congress of Mathematicians. The award recognized her sophisticated and highly original contributions to the fields of geometry and dynamical systems, particularly in understanding the symmetry of curved surfaces such as spheres.

Born in 1977, she initially aspired to become a writer but her affinity towards solving math problems won out. Dr. Mirzakhani attended an all-girls high school in Tehran and soon gained fame in 1994 and 1995 when she won the international Mathematical Olympiad.

Not surprisingly, there has been an out pour of messages from fellow mathematicians, well-known figures and Irani officials on Twitter.





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