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Maryam Mirzakhani (1977–2017): The First Female Recipient of the Fields Medal

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Abstract

Since 1936, the Fields Medal has been awarded as the highest scientific distinction at the International Congress of Mathematicians, which takes place every four years. The prize is awarded to two or more mathematicians who must not be older than 40. Until 2014, the total of 52 laureates of this unofficial Nobel Prize in mathematics were all men. It was not until that year, 78 years after the prize was founded, that it was awarded to a woman for the first time: to the Iranian Maryam Mirzakhani. Just like Emmy Noether in the 1930s, Mirzakhani had created astonishingly abstract structures that would be incomprehensible to non-mathematicians, but have nevertheless found their way into our everyday lives.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    “Interview with Research Fellow Maryam Mirzakhani”, Clay Mathematics Institute Annual Report (2008), pp. 11–13; available at www.claymath.org/library/annual_report/ar2008/08AnnualReport.pdf.

  2. 2.

    Read more at www.egmo2018.org/blog/wimbs-maryam-mirzakhani-part3/.

  3. 3.

    “Interview with Research Fellow Maryam Mirzakhani”, Clay Mathematics Institute Annual Report (2008), pp. 11–13; available at www.claymath.org/library/annual_report/ar2008/08AnnualReport.pdf.

  4. 4.

    Statement by Ramin Takloo-Bighash in: Hélène Barcelo and Stephen Kennedy: Maryam Mirzakhani (1977–2017), Notices of the AMS, November 2018; available at: www.ams.org/journals/notices/201810/rnoti-p1221.pdf.

  5. 5.

    Ebad Mahmoodian and Maryam Mirzakhani, Decomposition of Complete Tripartite Graphs into 5-Cycles Mathematica Applications, 324, Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publications (1995).

  6. 6.

    www.egmo2018.org/blog/wimbs-maryam-mirzakhani-part4/.

  7. 7.

    Maryam Mirzakhani, Roya Beheshti, Elementary Number Theory, Challenging Problems, Fatemi Publishers, Iran (1999; the book is in Persian).

  8. 8.

    Interview in The Guardian, 13 August 2014.

  9. 9.

    Maryam Mirzakhani, A Simple Proof of a Theorem of Schur, The American Mathematical Monthly, 105, 3 (1998).

  10. 10.

    Miryam Mirzankhani, Simple Geodesics on Hyperbolic Surfaces and the Volume of the Moduli Space of Curves. Available at https://www.math.stonybrook.edu/~mlyubich/Archive/Geometry/Teichmuller%20Space/Mirz3.pdf.

  11. 11.

    Alex Eskin and Marjam Mirzakhani, Invariant and Stationary Measures for the SL(2,R) Action on Moduli Space. Available at https://arxiv.org/abs/1302.3320 (2013).

  12. 12.

    Jordan Ellenberg, Math Is Getting Dynamic, 14 August 2014; available at www.slate.com/articles/life/do_the_math/2014/08/maryam_mirzakhani_fields_medal_first_woman_to_win_math_s_biggest_prize_works.html

  13. 13.

    Maryam Mirzakhani, in a 2013 talk given at the American Mathematical Society after receiving the Ruth Lyttl Satter Prize; http://www.ams.org/notices/201304/rnoti-p490.pdfi.

  14. 14.

    https://news.stanford.edu/2017/10/23/colleagues-friends-family-gather-remember-stanford-professor-maryam-mirzakhani/.

  15. 15.

    Ibid.

  16. 16.

    Ibid.

  17. 17.

    Maryam Mirzakhani: Iranian Newspapers Break Hijab Taboo in Tributes, The Guardian, 16 July 2017; available at: www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/16/maryam-mirzakhani-iranian-newspapers-break-hijab-taboo-in-tributes.

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Correspondence to Lars Jaeger .

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Jaeger, L. (2023). Maryam Mirzakhani (1977–2017): The First Female Recipient of the Fields Medal. In: Women of Genius in Science . Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-23926-7_18

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