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

Maryam Mirzakhani. Credit Stanford University

Mirzakhani had recently been taken to hospital as her health condition worsened due to breast cancer.

Her work has inspired many mathematicians, as she contributed to the dynamics and geometry of Riemann surfaces and their moduli spaces, according to the International Mathematical Union.

The president further expressed condolences to the country's scientific community and the bereaved family of Mirzakhani over her death.

"A light was turned off today, it breaks my heart...." "Sad to learn about the passing of #MaryamMirzakhani - the intelligent #Iranian daughter, wife, mother, professor".

"It is fun -- it's like solving a puzzle or connecting the dots in a detective case", she said when she won the Fields Medal.

"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. Professor Mirzakhani and her husband, Czech scientist Jan Vondrak, had one daughter.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif paid tribute to her. The 40-year-old, who used to teach at Stanford University, was also the first Iranian woman to be elected to the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in May 2016 in recognition of her "distinguished and continuing achievement in original research".

Mirzakhani became known on the worldwide mathematics scene as a teenager, winning gold medals at both the 1994 and 1995 global Math Olympiads -- and finished with a ideal score in the latter competition.

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

Eventually, Mirzakhani would receive her PhD from Harvard University, under the tutelage of fellow Fields Medal victor, Curtis McMullen in 2004.

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