The Stanford University professor, Maryam Mirzakhani was the first and, so far, only woman and first Muslim to win the prestigious Fields Medal in mathematics.
IRAN IS mourning the death of one of its most distinguished scientists, the mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani, who has died of breast cancer at the age of 40.
The Stanford University professor was the first and, so far, only woman and first Muslim to win the prestigious Fields Medal in mathematics.
Professor Mirzakhani was born in Tehran, Iran, and studied there and at Harvard University, before joining Stanford in 2008.
In 2014, she was one of four winners of the Fields Medal, which is presented every four years and is considered the mathematics equivalent of the Nobel Prize.
She was named for her work on complex geometry and dynamic systems.
“Mirzakhani specialised in theoretical mathematics that read like a foreign language by those outside of mathematics,” Stanford said in a statement to the media.
“Mastering these approaches allowed Mirzakhani to pursue her fascination for describing the geometric and dynamic complexities of curved surfaces – spheres, doughnut shapes and even amoebas – in as great detail as possible.”
The work had implications in fields ranging from cryptography to “the theoretical physics of how the universe came to exist,” the university said.
Iranian media widely reported her death on Saturday, describing her as the Iranian queen of mathematics.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani issued a statement praising Professor Mirzakhani.
The statement said the “unprecedented brilliance of this creative scientist and modest human being, who made Iran’s name resonate in the world’s scientific forums, was a turning point in showing the great will of Iranian women and young people on the path towards reaching the peaks of glory and in various international arenas”.
The unprecedented brilliance of this creative scientist and modest human being, who made Iran’s name resonate in the world’s scientific forums, was a turning point in showing the great will of Iranian women and young people on the path towards reaching the peaks of glory and in various international arenas, said Iranian president in statement
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said her death pained all Iranians, the Tehran Times reported.
“The news of young Iranian genius and math professor Maryam Mirzakhani’s passing has brought a deep pang of sorrow to me and all Iranians who are proud of their eminent and distinguished scientists,” Mr Zarif posted in Farsi on his Instagram account.
“I do offer my heartfelt condolences upon the passing of this lady scientist to all Iranians worldwide, her grieving family and the scientific community.”
Professor Mirzakhani originally dreamed of becoming a writer but then shifted to mathematics.
She once described her work as “like being lost in a jungle and trying to use all the knowledge that you can gather to come up with some new tricks, and with some luck you might find a way out”.
She is survived by her husband, Jan Vondrak, and daughter Anahita. — AP