Published: Sat, July 15, 2017
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Maryam Mirzakhani, Prize-Winning Mathematician, Dies At 40

Maryam Mirzakhani, Prize-Winning Mathematician, Dies At 40

Mirzakhani was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, and after fiercely batting this terrible disease for four years, she died on July 15, 2017.

In 2014, Mirzakhani was awarded the coveted Fields Medal, also known as the Nobel Prize of mathematics.

"In short, Mirzakhani was fascinated by the geometric and dynamic complexities of curved surfaces - spheres, doughnut shapes and even amoebas", Stanford said in a news release.

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

The two times gold medal victor 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.

"A light was turned off today, it breaks my heart...."

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"A genius? Yes. But also a daughter, a mother and a wife", he added in a subsequent post. She is survived by her husband and young daughter.

After 1936, when the Mathematics prize was first established, Mirzakhani ended a long wait for women in this category in 2014, thereby making her country proud as the recipient of this honour.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Professor Mirzakhani's death caused "great sorrow", according to Iran's state media.

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

Mirzakhani was born in Tehran and lived there until she began her doctorate work at Harvard University, later taking a professorship at Stanford University. She then taught at Princeton University before moving to Stanford in 2008. The award is only given out every four years to between two and four mathematicians under 40.

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