Mirzakhani, first female 'Nobel Prize for Mathematics' victor, is dead

Maryam Mirzakhani Passes Away

Maryam Mirzakhani Passes Away

Mirzakhani got her undergraduate degree at Sharif University of Technology, then moved to the United States, where she went to work on her doctorate at Harvard University.

Mirzakhani, 40, fought with cancer for four years and was hospitalized lately as the cancer has spread to her bone marrow.

At the time of her death, she was a professor in the mathematics department at Stanford University.

"What's so special about Maryam, the thing that really separates her, is the originality in how she puts together these disparate pieces", said Steven Kerckhoff, at the time of her Fields Medal award.

Iranian officials received heavy criticism for not using more recent pictures of Mirzakhani with short, uncovered hair, as she appeared at Fields Medal awarding ceremony.

The internationally renowned mathematician was diagnosed with cancer four years ago, a year before she won the award.

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

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Echoing similar view, Mirzakhani's friend from NASA, Firouz Naderi, said, "A light was turned off today".

She is survived by her husband and a daughter.

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

She made history in 2014 after becoming the first woman, as well as the first Iranian, to win the Fields Medal - nicknamed the "Nobel Prize of mathematics" - for her outstanding contributions to the fields of geometry and dynamical systems.

"In short, Mirzakhani was fascinated by the geometric and dynamic complexities of curved surfaces - spheres, doughnut shapes and even amoebas".

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called Mirzakhani a creative scientist, a humble person, and someone who stood for Iran on the world stage.

Separately on Instagram, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Mirzakhani's death is a cause for grief for all Iranians.