Maryam Mirzakhani, first woman to win ‘Nobel for Mathematics,’ dies at 40


Maryam Mirzakhani, the first woman to win what is viewed as the Nobel Prize for Mathematics, died on Saturday in US, after battling with the fatal breast cancer for last four years.

maryam mirzakhani

According to doctors, her cancer had spread to her bones.

Mirzakhani was the first woman to be awarded with the prestigious the Fields Medal, which is announced every four years between two and four mathematicians under 40.

An Iranian origin, Mirzakhani was bestowed with this award in 2014 for her work on complex geometry and dynamical systems.

“A light was turned off today. It breaks my heart… gone far too soon,” her friend, Nasa scientist Firouz Naderi, posted on Instagram.

A light was turned off today. It breaks my heart ….. gone far too soon.

A post shared by Firouz Naderi (@firouz_michael_naderi) on

His another post said, “A genius? Yes. But also a daughter, a mother and a wife.”

A genius? Yes. But also a daughter, a mother and a wife.

A post shared by Firouz Naderi (@firouz_michael_naderi) on

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

Her educational qualifications boasted of a PhD at the Harvard University in 2004, and later a professorship at Stanford.

After 1936, when the Mathematics prize was first established, Mirzakhani ended a long wait for women in this category in 2014, thereby making her country proud as the recipient of this honour.

Prof Dame Frances Kirwan, a member of the medal selection committee from the University of Oxford, said at the time, “I hope that this award will inspire lots more girls and young women, in this country and around the world, to believe in their own abilities and aim to be the Fields Medallists of the future.”

Mirzakhani is survived by her husband Jan Vondrák, a Czechtheoretical computer scientist and applied mathematician who is an associate professor at Stanford University, and a daughter named Anahita.


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