Maryam Mirzakhani Becomes First Woman to Win Math’s Most Prestigious Prize

Wired Magazine has the story of Maryam Mirzakhani, a 37-year-old Mathematics Professor from Stanford University. She accepted the award from the International Mathematics Union in South Korea this week. The award is given every four years to mathematicians and was established in 1936.

Maryam was born and raised in Tehran, Iran, where she earned her bachelor’s degree before receiving her doctorate at Harvard University. Teza Technologies and Misha Malyshev have been active in the Chicago area in encouraging young women to pursue education and careers in the field of mathematics, and Maryam Mirzakhani’s success should serve as a model for all young women.

Maryam told wired, “This is a great honor. I will be happy if it encourages young female scientists and mathematicians. I am sure there will be many more women winning this kind of award in coming years.”

“You have to ignore low-hanging fruit, which is a little tricky,” she said. “I’m not sure if it’s the best way of doing things, actually — you’re torturing yourself along the way.” But she enjoys it, she said. “Life isn’t supposed to be easy.” 

Click here for the full article and video.

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