Dignitaries grieve death of math genius Maryam Mirzakhani

Cesar Mills
July 15, 2017

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

Iran's Mehr News Agency cited one of Mirzakhani's relatives as confirming her death on Saturday. "Gone far too soon", Iranian-American NASA scientist Firouz Naderi posted on his Instagram.

She scored the International Mathematical Olympiad's gold medal twice - in 1994 and 1995.

His another post said, "A genius? Yes".

In 2014 she was the first woman and the first Iranian to be awarded with Fields Medal prize.

The award recognized her sophisticated and highly original contributions to the fields of geometry and dynamical systems, particularly in understanding the symmetry of curved surfaces such as spheres.

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Ali Akbar Salehi, an MIT-educated nuclear physicist who now leads the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, also said, "I offer my condolences over the untimely and heartbreaking demise of her to Iranians, her family, and all scientists worldwide". The distinguished prize, often nicknamed as the "Nobel Prize for Mathematics", is only awarded every four years to between two and four mathematicians under 40.

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.

"Separately on Instagram, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Mirzakhani's death is a cause for grief for all Iranians".

In a tweet, Gary Lewis, UN Resident Coordinator for the Islamic Republic of Iran, also expressed his sorrow over Mirzakhani's death.

"I do offer my heartfelt condolences upon the passing of this lady scientist to all Iranians worldwide, her grieving family and the scientific community", he added.

She received her BSc in mathematics in 1999 from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran and then went on to earn a PhD from Haravard University in 2004. She became a professor at Stanford University in 2008.

Other reports by GizPress

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