Maryam Mirzakhani

Mathematician

Dr. Maryam Mirzakhani was a mathematics professor at Stanford University and the only woman to ever receive the Fields Medal, the highest honor in mathematics. Born in Iran, she became the first girl to compete in Iran’s International Mathematical Olympiad team in 1994, garnering the world’s attention and two gold medals. After graduating from Tehran’s Sharif University, she pursued a doctoral degree at Harvard University. Mirzakhani’s dissertation was so exceptional that it was published in three journals. As a mathematician, she specialized in advanced theoretical geometry and published papers that could have future implications in theoretical physics, cryptography, and material science. Sadly, her brilliance was cut short when she died of breast cancer in 2017 at 40 years old.

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