Maryam Mirzakhani, an Iranian born mathematician, became the first woman to win coveted Fields Medal on 13 August 2014 in Seoul, South Korea. The award recognized her contributions to the field of geometry particularly in studying the symmetry of curved surfaces such as spheres.
Mirzakhani’s work has implications for the study of cryptography and prime numbers as well as for physics and quantum field theory.
She was one of four mathematicians who were awarded the Fields Medal 2014. Three other awardees were:
• Artur Avila of the Institute of Mathematics of Jussieu, for his contributions in Dynamical Systems Theory
• Manjul Bhargava of Princeton University, for developing new approach in the geometry of numbers
• Martin Hairer of the University of Warwick, for his contributions to the Theory of Stochastic Partial Differential Equations
Maryam Mirzakhani was born in Tehran in 1977. Initially, she chose to be a writer, but her fluency in solving mathematical queries shifted her interests. She enjoyed pure mathematics thereafter.
Maryam Mirzakhani made a number of contributions to the theory of moduli spaces of Riemann surfaces. She even proved that the system Earthquake Flow of William Thurston on Teichmüller space is ergodic.
She won gold medals in 1994 and 1995 International Mathematical Olympiad. She was recipient of 2013 AMS Ruth Lyttle Satter Prize in Mathematics and AMS Blumenthal Award 2009.
Established in 1936, Fields Medal is known as the Nobel Prize of mathematics. The prize includes a medal which is stamped with the head of Archimedes and a cash component of 8000 British Pound. The Fields Medal 2014 was held in Seoul, South Korea and were announced by the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM).
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Who: Maryam Mirzakhani
When: 13 August 2014