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

Maryam Mirzakhani. Credit Stanford University

An Iranian origin, Mirzakhani was bestowed with this award in 2014 for her work on complex geometry and dynamical systems. "Gone far too soon", the Iranian NASA scientist, Firouz Naderi, wrote in his latest post on Instagram.

"A light was turned off today".

Born in Tehran, Iran, she attended high school at the National Organization for Development of Exceptional Talents.

"Maryam was a brilliant mathematical theorist, and also a humble person who accepted honors only with the hope that it might encourage others to follow her path", he said.

"It is 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 added. Professor Mirzakhani and her husband, Czech scientist Jan Vondrak, had one daughter. Marie-Curie had Nobel prizes in physics and chemistry at the beginning of the 20th century, but in mathematics this is the first time we have a woman winning the most prestigious prize.

In Iran, President Hassan Rouhani said that Mirzakhani's "doleful passing" has caused "great sorrow", state media reported. Still others, praised the courageous move as it re-opened a discussion regarding the limitations on women which still exist in Iran.

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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif paid tribute to her.

A year later, she became the first Iranian student to achieve a ideal score and win two gold medals at the Olympiad.

In 1999, Mirzakhani earned a bachelor of science degree in mathematics from the Sharif University of Technology in Tehran.

She was a research fellow at Clay Mathematics Institute from 2004 to 2008 and served as an assistant professor of mathematics at Princeton University.

The Fields Medal is awarded every four years to between two and four mathematicians under the age of 40.

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