Maryam Mirzakhani, only woman to take math's highest award, dies at 40

Fields Medal, the "Nobel Prize of Mathematics" was awarded to Maryam Mirzakhani, the 40-year-old Iranian Mathematician in 2014, for her work on complex geometry and dynamical systems.

In 1999, Mirzakhani earned a bachelor of science degree in mathematics from the Sharif University of Technology in Tehran.

She was survived by her husband Jan Vondrák, a Czech theoretical computer scientist and her colleague at Stanford University and a daughter named Anahita.

Iranian mathematics scholar Maryam Mirzakhani passed away on Saturday after succumbing to her third bout with breast cancer.

Mirzakhani, who described herself as a slow mathematician, was drawn to big, hard questions in her field, a trait that made her a revered figure within the mathematics community.

Born in 1977, Mirzakhani was raised in post-revolutionary Iran and won two gold medals in the International Mathematical Olympiad as a teenager, according to the BBC. She was the first woman to win the award since its inception in 1936.

Maryam Mirzakhani, the first woman to receive the Fields Medal for mathematics, has died in the United States in Saturday.

Firouz Naderi’s post in Instagram in reaction to Mirzakhani’s death
Firouz Naderi’s post in Instagram in reaction to Mirzakhani’s death

After her doctorate at Harvard, Mirzakhani accepted a position as assistant professor at Princeton University and as a research fellow at the Clay Mathematics Institute.

Mirzakhani joined the faculty at Stanford in the San Francisco Bay area in 2008.

"On behalf of the entire Stanford community, I congratulate Maryam on this incredible recognition, the highest honor in her discipline, the first ever granted to a woman", said Hennessy.

"A light was turned off today", NASA scientist Firouz Michael Naderi wrote on Instagram.

Maryam Mirzakhani is awarded with the 2014 Fields medal at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Seoul, South Korea on August 13, 2014.

Stanford said her work involved the geometric and dynamic complexities of curved surfaces such as spheres and doughnut shapes.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani saluted Mirzakhani in a message in Farsi, posted to Twitter.