Maryam Mirzakhani, First Woman To Win Math’s Highest Honor, Dead At 40
“A genius? Yes. But also a daughter, a mother and a wife.”
Professor Maryam Mirzakhani is the recipient of the 2014 Fields Medal, the top honor in mathematics. She is the first woman in the prize’s 80-year history to earn the distinction.
Maryam Mirzakhani, the 40-year-old Iranian that won math’s most prestigious prize, died Saturday after a four-year battle with breast cancer, the BBC reported.
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. The award is given out every four years. Mirzakhani was the first woman and first Iranian to receive the honor since its creation in 1936.
Born in Tehran, Mirzakhani came to the U.S. to attend graduate school at Harvard University. At the time, she had become the first girl named on Iran’s team in the International Mathematical Olympiad and had already won gold medals in the 1990s, NPR reported.