Today Stanford Professor Maryam Mirzakhani was the first female mathematician to be given the Fields Medal, the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for math. At only 37, Mirzakhani was given the award in Seoul, South Korea for her work with geometry and dynamical systems.
“The award recognizes Mirzakhani’s sophisticated and highly original contributions to the fields of geometry and dynamical systems, particularly in understanding the symmetry of curved surfaces, such as spheres, the surfaces of doughnuts and of hyperbolic objects. Although her work is considered ‘pure mathematics’ and is mostly theoretical, it has implications for physics and quantum field theory.”
The Fields Medal is awarded every four years by the International Mathematics Union and celebrates outstanding discoveries in Mathematics.
Mirzakhani is happy about the news and its possible impact on Women in Mathematics. “I will be happy if it encourages young female scientists and mathematicians” Mirzakhani said in a statement on the Stanford Website. She also added that she feels “there will be many more women winning this kind of award in coming years.”
Well done Maryam. Well done indeed.