TEHRAN (Dispatches)-Internationally-renowned Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani, died at a hospital in the U.S. on Saturday after a long battle with cancer.
"A light was turned off today. It breaks my heart... gone far too soon," her friend, Nasa scientist Firouz Naderi, posted on Instagram.
Mirzakhani had recently been taken to hospital as her health condition worsened due to breast cancer. Cancerous cells had recently spread to her bone marrow. She had already been battling the disease for several years.
Born in 1977 in Tehran, Mirzakhani was raised in the Iranian capital, winning gold medals in both the International Mathematical Olympiad (Hong Kong 1994), and the International Mathematical Olympiad (Canada 1995).
The math genius received her Bachelor of Science in mathematics from Iran’s prestigious Sharif University of Technology in 1999, and then went to the U.S. to further her education, earning a PhD degree in mathematics from Harvard University in 2004.
In 2014, Mirzakhani was awarded the coveted Fields Medal, also known as the Nobel Prize of mathematics. The 40-year-old, who used to teach at Stanford University, was also the first Iranian woman to be elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in May 2016 in recognition of her "distinguished and continuing achievement in original research.”
Prof Dame Frances Kirwan, a member of the medal selection committee from the University of Oxford, said at the time: "I hope that this award will inspire lots more girls and young women, in this country and around the world, to believe in their own abilities and aim to be the Fields Medallists of the future."
In a message issued on Saturday, President Rouhani said the demise of "the well-known mathematical genius" has caused deep sorrow for him.
The president further expressed condolences to the country’s scientific community and the bereaved family of Mirzakhani over her death.
The late Internationally-renowned Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani.