Math Genius Dead at 40
Roopinder Tara posted on July 17, 2017 | 667 views
Maryam Mirzakhani dies at the age of 40 from breast cancer.
Maryam Mirzakhani dies at the age of 40 from breast cancer.

Maryam Mirzakhani was the first – and maybe the only --woman to win the coveted Fields Medal, the equivalent of the Nobel prize in mathematics. The breast cancer she had been fighting for 4 years had made its way into her bone marrow. She was only 40.

Maryam was born in Iran. She was the only woman of Iran’s team of the Mathematical Olympiad, winning gold with a perfect score. She came to the US to get her PhD at Harvard University. She was hired at Stanford as a full professor at the age of 31.

Her work on non-Euclidian curved surfaces had made her famous. The ENGINEERING.com symbol is a geodesic structure, and its outermost points approximating a sphere. The shortest path between two points on a sphere is an arc, part of a great circle called a geodesic. Spheres, Euclidean shapes… understood for thousands of years, that was child’s play for Maryam, who could calculate the shortest path on hyperbolic surfaces.

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