Iranian victor of mathematics Fields Medal dies

Maryam Mirzakhani Passes Away

Groundbreaking Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani, who became the first woman to receive the coveted Fields Medal, has died following a battle with breast cancer.

"A light was turned off today. far too soon".

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

The 40-year-old was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, which had spread to her bone marrow.

Mirzakhani was drawn to mathematics while in high school in Iran's capital, Tehran, where she grew up. She then taught at Princeton University before moving to Stanford in 2008.

"What's so special about Maryam, the thing that really separates her, is the originality in how she puts together these disparate pieces", said Steven Kerckhoff, at the time of her Fields Medal award.

Mirzakhani won the Fields Medal in 2014 for her work on geometry and dynamical systems and was the first Iranian to win the prize.

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

In another interview, she said of her process: "I don't have any particular recipe [for developing new proofs] ... I will be happy if it encourages young female scientists and mathematicians", Mirzakhani said at the time.

Stanford says her work involved the geometric and dynamic complexities of curved surfaces such as spheres and doughnut shapes. "Her questions came in English".

She later graduated from Sharif University in Tehran and then headed to Harvard University in MA, to obtain her doctorate in mathematics. In 1994, she earned a gold medal.

In 2014, she told Quanta Magazine, a science publication, that she thought about mathematics in pictures, doodling her ideas on giant sheets of paper scattered across her office. Kerckhoff is a mathematics professor at Stanford and was one of Mirzakhani's collaborators.

She is survived by husband Jan Vondrák, a Czech theoretical computer scientist, and their daughter Anahita.

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