US First Woman to Win Fields Medal, Maryam Mirzakhani, Dies

02:30  16 july  2017
02:30  16 july  2017 Source:   NBC News

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Maryam Mirzakhani , an Iranian-born mathematician who was the first woman to win the coveted Fields Medal , has died in a US hospital after a battle with cancer. She was 40. Mirzakhani ’s friend Firouz Naderi announced her death on Saturday on Instagram

Image: Professor Mirzakhani was the first Iranian national to win the Fields Medal . Pic: Stanford University.

Image: Professor Maryam Mirzakhani© Professor Maryam Mirzakhani is the recipient of the 2014 Fields Medal, the top honor in mathematics.... Image: Professor Maryam Mirzakhani

Maryam Mirzakhani, a Stanford University professor who was the first and only woman to win the Fields Medal in mathematics, has died. She was 40.

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Stanford University said Mirzakhani died Saturday after a long battle with breast cancer.

"Maryam is gone far too soon, but her impact will live on for the thousand of women she inspired to pursue math and science," said Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne in a press release.

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Maryam Mirzakhani was a mathematical genius shot to fame after winning the prestigious Fields Medal in 2004, at the age of 37. She died of breast cancer today, on July 15, 2017. Tributes are pouring in from mathematical fraternities across the world over the loss of a genius.

Stanford University’s Maryam Mirzakhani was the first and only woman to win the prestigious Fields Medal in mathematics.

"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."

Related: Mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani Becomes First Woman to Win Fields Medal

Mirzakhani was born in Iran and joined Stanford as a mathematics professor in 2008.

In 2014, she won one of the Fields Medal — widely considered to be the mathematics equivalent of the Nobel Prize — for her groundbreaking work in theoretical mathematics. According to the university, Mirzakhani's research could have impacts on the "theoretical physics of how the universe came to exist" and "implications for the study of prime numbers and cryptography."

The university praised Mirzakhani and several of her colleagues described her as "ambitious, resolute and fearless in the face of problems others would not, or could not, tackle."

Mirzakhani is survived by her husband and a daughter.

Chelsea Bailey contributed from New York.

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