Science

First woman to win prestigious Fields Medal dies

First woman to win prestigious Fields Medal dies

The 40-year-old had breast cancer, which had spread to her bones, BBC reported. "It breaks my heart... gone far too soon", she wrote.

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

Last year, she became the first Iranian woman to be elected to the US National Academy of Sciences.

"In short, Mirzakhani was fascinated by the geometric and dynamic complexities of curved surfaces - spheres, doughnut shapes and even amoebas".

By then, she was already a star, having won gold medals in the International Mathematical Olympiad in the mid-1990s - after becoming the first girl ever named to Iran's team. "It is fun - it's like solving a puzzle or connecting the dots in a detective case". When her Fields Medal award was announced there, the photo used showed her not wearing an hijab. She is survived by her husband and young daughter.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Professor Mirzakhani's death caused "great sorrow", according to Iran's state media. Marie-Curie had Nobel prizes in physics and chemistry at the beginning of the 20th century, but in mathematics this is the first time we have a woman winning the most prestigious prize.




Rouhani praised the "unprecedented brilliance of this creative scientist and modest human being, who made Iran's name resonate in the world's scientific forums, (and) was a turning point in showing the great will of Iranian women and young people on the path towards reaching the peaks of glory.in various global arenas".

In a post on Instagram, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif offered his condolences over Mirzakhani's death.

A year later, she became the first Iranian student to achieve a flawless score and win two gold medals at the Olympiad.

Eventually, Mirzakhani would receive her PhD from Harvard University, under the tutelage of fellow Fields Medal victor, Curtis McMullen in 2004.

She was a research fellow at Clay Mathematics Institute from 2004 to 2008 and served as an assistant professor of mathematics at Princeton University.


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