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Iran-Origin Maths Wizard Maryam Dies at 40

Iran-Origin Maths Wizard Maryam Dies at 40

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

"A light was turned off today".

"A genius? Yes. But also a daughter, a mother and a wife", he added in a subsequent post.

The 40-year-old had breast cancer, which had spread to her bones, BBC reported.

Born in 1977, Mirzakhani was raised in post-revolutionary Iran and won two gold medals in the International Mathematical Olympiad as a teenager, according to the BBC.

Stanford University in a statement said Mirzakhani was "ambitious, resolute and fearless in the face of problems others would not, or could not, tackle". "I will be happy if it encourages young female scientists and mathematicians", she said at the time.

Mirzakhani was the first woman to be awarded with the prestigious the Fields Medal, which is announced every four years between two and four mathematicians under 40.

Firouz Naderi’s post in Instagram in reaction to Mirzakhani’s death
Firouz Naderi’s post in Instagram in reaction to Mirzakhani’s death

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

As a teenager, she gained worldwide attention when she won gold medals in two global Mathematical Olympiads, achieving a flawless score in one.

"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. "But for myself, I prefer solo activities; I enjoy reading and exercising in my free time", she said. Mirzakhani specialized in theoretical mathematics that read like a foreign language by those outside of mathematics: moduli spaces, Teichmüller theory, hyperbolic geometry, Ergodic theory and symplectic geometry.

Mirzakhani joined the faculty at Stanford in the San Francisco Bay area in 2008.

The paper she completed based on that exercise was published in 2013.

Firouz Naderi, her friend and NASA scientist, confirmed Mirzakhani's death on Instagram.

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