A Historic Day

Mark this day (13/8/14) in your calendars people as today is the first time in human history that a woman has been awarded the Fields Medal, which is widely viewed as the Nobel Prize for maths. This is a truly fantastic day and a glimmer of hope for encouraging more young girls into the S.T.E.M Fields (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math).

Stanford professor of mathematics Maryam Mirzakhani is now the first woman to win the prize, and the first Stanford recipient since Paul Cohen in 1966. Mirzakhani was presented with the prize, known officially as the International Medal for Outstanding Discoveries in Mathematics, by the International Mathematical Union yesterday at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Seoul, South Korea.

She is being honoured for her contributions to the fields of geometry and dynamical systems, in understanding the symmetry of curved surfaces like spheres, doughnuts and hyperbolic objects.

Maryam Mirzakhani
Maryam Mirzakhani

Her work is theoretical but has implications for physics and quantum field theory. It also has secondary applications to engineering and material science, and the study of prime numbers and cryptography.

Mirzakhani was born and raised in Tehran, Iran. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Sharif University of Technology in 1999, and her doctorate from Harvard University in 2004.

From 2004 to 2008, she was the Clay Mathematics Institute Research Fellow and assistant professor at Princeton University before becoming a professor of mathematics at Stanford University in 2008.

Stay Curious – C.Costigan

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