Portrait of the day: Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani
Maryam Mirzakhani was an Iranian mathematician and a professor of mathematics at Stanford University. She was honored with the Fields Medal, the most prestigious award in mathematics.
Maryam Mirzakhani was born on May 12, 1977, in Tehran. She attended Tehran Farzanegan School, part of the National Organization for Development of Exceptional Talents (NODET). She won the gold medal for mathematics in the Iranian National Olympiad, thus allowing her to bypass the national college entrance exam.
In 1994, she became the first Iranian woman to win a gold medal at the International Mathematical Olympiad in Hong Kong, scoring 41 out of 42 points. In the same year, she became the first Iranian to achieve the full score and to win two gold medals in the International Mathematical Olympiad in Toronto.
She became a professor at Stanford University
She obtained a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from the Sharif University of Technology in 1999. During her time there, she received recognition from the American Mathematical Society for her work in developing a simple proof of the theorem of Schur. She then went to the United States for graduate work, earning a Ph.D. in 2004 from Harvard University. In 2004, she was a research fellow of the Clay Mathematics Institute and a professor at Princeton University. In 2009, she became a professor at Stanford University.
She was honored
In 2005, she was honored in Popular Science's fourth annual “Brilliant 10” in which she was acknowledged as one of the top 10 young minds who have pushed their fields in innovative directions.
International Women in Mathematics Day
In 2013, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and died on July 14, 2017, when she was 40 years old. Maryam Mirzakhani's birthday, 12 May, was declared International Women in Mathematics Day by the International Council for Science, as a result of advocacy carried out by the Women's Committee within the Iranian Mathematical Society.