Mathematics Genius Maryam Mirzakhani Has Died At 40

Iranian Math Genius Mirzakhani Dies of Cancer

Mathematics Genius Maryam Mirzakhani Has Died At 40

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

From 2004 to 2008 she was a Clay Mathematics Institute Research Fellow and an assistant professor at Princeton University.

Three years later, the Iranian math prodigy died on Saturday of cancer in a US hospital. She became a professor at Stanford University 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. In an interview, she once said, "Doing mathematics for me is like being on a long hike with no trail and no end in sight".

Mirzakhani was drawn to mathematics while in high school in Iran's capital, Tehran, where she grew up. "Mirzakhani was the first Iranian woman elected to the National Academy of Sciences previous year, in recognition of her 'distinguished achievement in original research.' She was in good company: Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell were past honorees". "It breaks my heart. gone far too soon", her friend, NASA scientist Firouz Naderi, posted on Instagram.

"A light was turned off today. But also a daughter, a mother and a wife". "I felt that this was something I could do, and I wanted to pursue this path".

Firouz Naderi’s post in Instagram in reaction to Mirzakhani’s death
Firouz Naderi’s post in Instagram in reaction to Mirzakhani’s death

She made history in 2014 after becoming the first woman, as well as the first Iranian, to win the Fields Medal - nicknamed the "Nobel Prize of mathematics" - for her outstanding contributions to the fields of geometry and dynamical systems.

She is survived by her husband, Jan Vondrák, and their daughter, Anahita.

Stanford said her work involved the geometric and dynamic complexities of curved surfaces such as spheres and doughnut shapes.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Mirzakhani's "doleful passing" has caused "great sorrow", state media reported.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif paid tribute to her.

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