Math genius Maryam Mirzakhani dies, aged 40

16 July, 2017, 00:22 | Author: Bridget Leonard
  • Iranian math genius Mirzakhani passes away

Maryam Mirzakhani, an Iranian genius mathematician and the first-ever female victor of the prestigious Fields Medal prize, died at the age of 40 of breast cancer at a hospital in USA on July 14, Tehran Times reports.

Mirzakhani was born in Tehran and lived there until she began her doctorate work at Harvard University, later taking a professorship at Stanford University.

Three years later, the Iranian math prodigy died on Saturday of cancer in a USA hospital.

At the time of her death, she was a professor in the mathematics department at Stanford University. She was the first recipient of the prestigious Fields Medal at a very young age. In an interview, she once said, "Doing mathematics for me is like being on a long hike with no trail and no end in sight".

Mirzakhani was born in Tehran, Iran on May 3, 1977, and she quickly displayed an awesome talent for math. She was the first woman to win the award since its inception in 1936. Mirzakhani' friend Firouz Naderi announced her death today on Instagram, and her relatives confirmed the death to the Mehr agency in Iran.


She said the 2014 award was a great honor. She was also the first Iranian to receive the prize, which is given every four years to exceptional mathematicians under the age of 40. In 2014 Mirzakhani won the Fields Medal, the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for Mathematics, which is awarded by the International Congress of Mathematicians.

Describing Mirzakhani as a brilliant mathematical theorist, Tessier-Lavigne added, "Her contributions as both a scholar and a role model are significant and enduring, and she will be dearly missed here at Stanford and around the world". She had breast cancer.

In 2014, she told Quanta Magazine, a science publication, that she thought about mathematics in pictures, doodling her ideas on giant sheets of paper scattered across her office.

Early in her life, Mirzakhani had wanted to be a writer.

"A genius? Yes. But also a daughter, a mother and a wife", Naderi also wrote.

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