Maryam Mirzakhani Passes Away

Maryam Mirzakhani Passes AwayMaryam Mirzakhani Passes Away

Iranian mathematics scholar Maryam Mirzakhani passed away on Saturday after succumbing to her third bout with breast cancer.

Firouz Naderi, a retired NASA scientist and former director of the space agency's Solar System Exploration Program, announced her passing on his personal Instagram account.

"A light was turned off today. It breaks my heart…Gone far too soon," he wrote.

Mirzakhani was hospitalized last week in California and tests showed that cancer had spread to her bone marrow. Her parents had traveled to the US on Monday, according to the Persian-language daily Haft-e-Sobh.

In 2014, she became a household name after becoming the first woman ever to win the Fields Medal, which is widely referred to as the Nobel Prize of mathematics awarded to honor excellence in the field to mathematicians under the age of 40.

Born on May 3, 1977, in Tehran, Mirzakhani showed her knack for numbers from an early age, winning back-to-back gold medals in the 1994 and 1995 International Mathematical Olympiads.

After receiving her bachelor's degree in mathematics from the prestigious Sharif University of Technology in 1999, she moved to the United States and earned her a PhD from Harvard University five years later.

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

Last year, she became the first Iranian woman to be elected to the US National Academy of Sciences.

Mirzakhani is survived by her husband, Jan Vondrak, and her 6-year-old daughter, Anahita.


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