Maryam Mirzakhani, first woman to win Nobel for Mathematics, dies at 40

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

The 40-year-old reportedly had breast cancer that spread to her bones.

Maryam Mirzakhani, the Iranian genius mathematician and the first-ever female victor of the prestigious Fields Medal prize, died of breast cancer at a hospital in US on Saturday.

Mirzakhani was born in Tehran, Iran on May 3, 1977, and she quickly displayed an wonderful talent for math. Her death was confirmed Saturday by Stanford University, where Mirzakhani had been a professor since 2008.

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. "Gone far too soon", Iran-born NASA scientist Firouz Naderi posted on Twitter. She went on to win the 2009 Blumenthal Award for the Advancement of Research in Pure Mathematics, and the 2013 Satter Prize of the American Mathematical Society.

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Fields Medal for Mathematics, which is nicknamed 'Nobel Prize for Mathematics, ' is awarded every four years to 2-4 mathematicians under 40. She is survived by her husband Jan Vondrák and their daughter Anahita.

In a 2014 interview with the Guardian, she described the excitement and challenge of mathematics. A colleague speculated that perhaps she organized her thoughts like this because the "problems she is working on are so abstract and complicated, she can't afford to make logical steps one by one but has to make big jumps".

Professor Maryam Mirzakhani is the recipient of the 2014 Fields Medal, the top honor in mathematics. "Things evolve, and then you look back at a character, and it's completely different from your first impression".

Following earlier news that Mirzakhani's health had taken a turn for the worse, a spokesperson for the Iranian foreign ministry told Mehr News that Iranians worldwide were proud of her.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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