Maryam Mirzakhani Cause Of Death: How Did The Fields Medalist Die?

Posted July 16, 2017

Maryam Mirzakhani, the 40-year-old Iranian that won math's most prestigious prize, died Saturday after a four-year battle with breast cancer, the BBC reported.

She received her BSc in mathematics in 1999 from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran and then went on to earn a PhD from Haravard University in 2004.

Mirzakhani, who was from Iran, died of breast cancer in the USA, a relative told Iran's Mehr News Agency.

Stanford University in California - where she had been a professor since 2008 - didn't indicate where she died.

After 1936, when the Mathematics prize was first established, Mirzakhani ended a long wait for women in this category in 2014, thereby making her country proud as the recipient of this honour.

Mirzakhani said she enjoyed pure mathematics because of the elegance and longevity of the questions she studies.

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.

Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne said: "Maryam is gone far too soon, but her impact will live on for the thousands of women she inspired to pursue math and science".

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. The award is only given out every four years to between two and four mathematicians under 40.

Mirzakhani also became the first woman and the first Iranian to be awarded a Fields Medal.

"On behalf of the entire Stanford community, I congratulate Maryam on this incredible recognition, the highest honor in her discipline, the first ever granted to a woman", said Hennessy. "Her contributions as both a scholar and a role model are significant and enduring, and she will be dearly missed here at Stanford and around the world".

Mirzakhani joined the faculty at Stanford in the San Francisco Bay area in 2008.

In the same interview, she said she spent her free time with family and her husband. "But also a daughter, a mother and a wife".