Friday, July 21, 2017

CELEBRITY FRIDAY: Maryam Mirzakhani, Only Female Fields Medalist, Has Died

Maryam Mirzakhani, Stanford mathematics full professor and Fields medalist, died last Friday July14 of breast cancer at the age of 40.  The Fields medal is the highest international honor in Mathematics (the equivalent of a Nobel prize) and Mirzakhani was the first (and only woman) to have received the award.

The loss of Mirzakhani (at such an early age) has stunned the mathematics community and resulted in a deluge of press. Here's an excerpt from the New York Times obituary:

Maryam Mirzakhani, an Iranian mathematician who was the only woman ever to win a Fields Medal, the most prestigious honor in mathematics, died on Friday. She was 40.
The cause was breast cancer, said Stanford University, where she was a professor. The university did not say where she died.
Her death is “a big loss and shock to the mathematical community worldwide,” said Peter C. Sarnak, a mathematician at Princeton University and the Institute for Advanced Study.
The Fields Medal, established in 1936, is often described as the Nobel Prize of mathematics. But unlike the Nobels, the Fields are bestowed only on people aged 40 or younger, not just to honor their accomplishments but also to predict future mathematical triumphs. The Fields are awarded every four years, with up to four mathematicians chosen at a time.
She will be  missed!

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