Iranian math genius Mirzakhani passes away

“A light was turned off today, it breaks my heart…. Gone far too soon,” Firouz Naderi, a NASA scientist, wrote in his latest post. 

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

The two times gold medal winner in the International Mathematical Olympiad received her Bachelor of Science in mathematics from the Iran’s Sharif University of Technology in 1999 and earned a PhD degree in mathematics from Harvard University in 2004.

From 2004 to 2008 she was a Clay Mathematics Institute Research Fellow and an assistant professor at Princeton University. She became full professor of mathematics at the age of 31 in 2008 at Stanford University where she is currently lecturing.

Her honors include the 2009 Blumenthal Award for the Advancement of Research in Pure Mathematics and the 2013 Satter Prize of the American Mathematical Society.

But the most important of all her awards was the 2014 Fields Medal that she won in recognition of her contributions to the understanding of the symmetry of curved surfaces. This medal, commonly viewed as the highest honor a mathematician can receive, is given every four years to mathematicians under the age of 40, by the International Congress of the International Mathematical Union (IMU).

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