Iranian math genius, Fields Medal winner Mirzakhani passes away

July 15, 2017 - 13:10

TEHRAN — Maryam Mirzakhani, the Iranian genius mathematician and the first-ever female winner of the prestigious Fields Medal prize, died of breast cancer at a hospital in U.S. on Saturday.

“A light was turned off today, it breaks my heart…. Gone far too soon,” the Iranian NASA scientist, Firouz Naderi, wrote in his latest post on Instagram. Later he twitted: A genius? Yes. But also a daughter, a mother and a wife.

Mirzakhani, 40, fought with cancer for four years and was hospitalized lately as the cancer has spread to her bone marrow. 

The two times gold medal winner in the International Mathematical Olympiad received her Bachelor of Science in mathematics from Iran’s Sharif University of Technology in 1999 and earned a PhD degree in mathematics from Harvard University in 2004.

From 2004 to 2008 she was a Clay Mathematics Institute Research Fellow and an assistant professor at Princeton University. She was a professor at Stanford University. Her honors include the 2009 Blumenthal Award for the Advancement of Research in Pure Mathematics and the 2013 Satter Prize of the American Mathematical Society.

Mirzakhani also became the first woman and the first Iranian to be awarded a Fields Medal.


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