Iranian genius mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani dies aged 40

Maryam Mirzakhani Passes Away

Maryam Mirzakhani, the first woman to win what is viewed as the Nobel Prize for Mathematics, died on Saturday in USA, after battling with the fatal breast cancer for last four years. She earned a doctoral degree from Harvard University in 2004 and became full professor of mathematics in 2008 at Stanford at a very young age of 31.

Before her death from breast cancer which had spread to her bones, Mirzakhani was a professor at Stanford University, has worked at Princeton before securing a professorship at Stanford in 2008.

Mirzakhani is survived by her husband Jan Vondrák, a Czechtheoretical computer scientist and applied mathematician who is an associate professor at Stanford University, and a daughter named Anahita.

In a 2014 interview with the Guardian, she described the excitement and challenge of mathematics.

Mirzakhani was drawn to mathematics while in high school in Iran's capital, Tehran, where she grew up. She was the first woman to win the award since its inception in 1936.

Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne said: "Maryam is gone far too soon, but her impact will live on for the thousands of women she inspired to pursue math and science". Her parents had traveled to the United States on Monday, according to the Persian-language daily Haft-e-Sobh. "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".

"A light was turned off today", NASA scientist Firouz Michael Naderi wrote on Instagram.

The award recognized her sophisticated and highly original contributions to the fields of geometry and dynamical systems, particularly in understanding the symmetry of curved surfaces such as spheres.

Maryam Mirzakhani is awarded with the 2014 Fields medal at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Seoul, South Korea on August 13, 2014.

Early in her life, Mirzakhani had wanted to be a writer.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani saluted Mirzakhani in a message in Farsi, posted to Twitter.

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