Iranian math genius, Fields Medal victor Mirzakhani passes away

Maryam Mirzakhani Passes Away

Stanford professor Maryam Mirzakhani, the first and only woman to win the prestigious Fields Medal prize for mathematics, died Saturday after four years with breast cancer, the university announced.

Mirzakhani, who was from Iran, died of breast cancer in the U.S., a relative told Iran's Mehr News Agency. Professor Mirzakhani and her husband, Czech scientist Jan Vondrak, had one daughter.

Mirzakhani, who worked as a math professor at Stanford from 2008 until her death, won the Fields Medal in 2014, according to the university. "Mirzakhani was the first Iranian woman elected to the National Academy of Sciences a year ago, in recognition of her 'distinguished achievement in original research.' She was in good company: Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell were past honorees".

Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne called Mirzakhani a brilliant theorist "who made enduring contributions and inspired thousands of women to pursue math and science".

"A light was turned off today, it breaks my heart...."

"A genius? Yes. But also a daughter, a mother and a wife", Naderi also wrote.

Maryam Mirzakhani, the first woman to receive the Fields Medal for mathematics, has died in the USA in Saturday.

The Iran native thrived in study of curved surfaces such as doughnut shapes and amoebas - to a degree that other bright minds in the field dared not explore, her colleagues have said.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani saluted Mirzakhani in a message in Farsi, posted to Twitter.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif too expressed his condolences in an Instagram post.

Mirzakhani completed her PhD at Harvard in 2004, then accepted positions as a research fellow at the Clay Mathematics Institute and an assistant professor at Princeton, accruing awards and acclaim along the way.

Maryam Mirzakhani is awarded with the 2014 Fields medal at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Seoul, South Korea on August 13, 2014.

Stanford University has not responded to a request for comment from Newsweek.