Maryam Mirzakhani, first woman to win maths' Fields Medal, dies
04:45 Sun Jul 16, 2017
Prof Mirzakhani is seen as an inspiration for young female mathematicians
Taken from/By: BBC News
Report by: BBC New
Maryam Mirzakhani, the first woman to receive the prestigious Fields Medal for mathematics, has died in the US.
The 40-year-old Iranian, a professor at Stanford University, had breast cancer which had spread to her bones.
Nicknamed the “Nobel Prize for Mathematics”, the Fields Medal is only awarded every four years to between two and four mathematicians under 40.
It was given to Prof Mirzakhani in 2014 for her work on complex geometry and dynamical systems.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Prof Mirzakhani’s death caused “great sorrow,” state media reported.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said her death was a cause for grief for all Iranians.
“A light was turned off today. It breaks my heart… gone far too soon,” US-Iranian scientist Firouz Naderi posted on Instagram.
He added in a subsequent post: “A genius? Yes. But also a daughter, a mother and a wife.”
Prof Mirzakhani and her husband, Czech scientist Jan Vondrak, had one daughter.
Some social media users criticised Iranian officials for not using recent images of Prof Mirzakhani which showed her uncovered hair. Iranian women must cover their hair in line with a strict interpretation of Islamic law on modesty.
Iranian official media and politicians used older pictures in their social media tributes, which show her hair covered.
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