Maryam Mirzakhani, the Iranian genius mathematician and the first-ever female winner of the prestigious Fields Medal prize, had been hospitalized in the US for deteriorating health conditions caused by cancer recurrence.
In addition to one of her relative who confirmed the news, Firouz Michael Naderi, an Iranian-American NASA scientist, also reported on passing away of Mirzakhani in an Instagram post on Saturday morning which read “a light was turned off today. It breaks my heart …… gone far too soon.”
Earlier on Saturday, spokesperson of Iranian foreign ministry said all Iranians around the world, while praying for well-being of Maryam Mirzakhani, are proud of the genius mathematician.
Bahram Ghasemi, Spokesman of Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, expressed hope for full recovery of Dr. Maryam Mirzakhani, one of the most prominent contemporary mathematicians, and voiced readiness to the Islamic Republic of Iran to any sort of assistance in this regard.
He added that the world of science and humanity was in need of the unique Iranian genius stating “we and all Iranians around the world are praising and praying for her health knowing that the world of science was impatiently waiting for her return to the realm of research, teaching and academic discussions.”
Born in 1977 in Tehran, Mirzakhani was raised in the Iranian capital. As a brilliant teenager, she won gold medals in both the International Mathematical Olympiad (Hong Kong 1994), in which she scored 41 out of 42 points, and the International Mathematical Olympiad (Canada 1995) with a perfect score of 42 out of 42 points, ranking her first jointly with 14 other participants.
The math genius received her Bachelor of Science in mathematics from Iran’s prestigious Sharif University of Technology in 1999. She later went to the US to further her education, earning a PhD degree in mathematics from Harvard University in 2004.
She became full professor of mathematics at the age of 31 in 2008 at Stanford University where she is currently lecturing.
Mirzakhani received Blumenthal Award from the American Mathematical Society in 2009. She was also awarded the 2013 biennial Ruth Lyttle Satter Prize in Mathematics by the American Mathematical Society, and garnered the 2014 Clay Research Award from the Clay Mathematics Institute.
But the most important of all her awards is 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).