Acclaimed Stanford Mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani Dies At 40

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Maryam Mirzakhani, a Stanford University professor who was the first and only woman to win the Fields Medal in mathematics, has died.

Mirzakhani, while solving mathematical problems, often drew on large sheets of paper while scribbling formulas on the edges, an approach that her young daughter believed to be a form of painting, according to Stanford.

"Maryam is gone far too soon, but her impact will live on for the thousands of women she inspired to pursue math and science", said Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne.

"A light was turned off today".

Firouz Naderi, a former Iranian director of Solar Systems Exploration at NASA, had also announced her death in an Instagram post earlier in the day.

The mathematics professor, who was born in 1977, won a gold medal in the 1994 International Mathematical Olympiad, the first female Iranian student to do so. Despite an auspicious start, she said that she had no intention of pursing mathematics. She dreamed of becoming a writer, but mathematics eventually swept her away.

"Also, everyone has a different style, and something that works for one person might not be so great for others", she said.

She earned a doctoral degree from Harvard University in 2004 and became full professor of mathematics in 2008 at Stanford at a very young age of 31.

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

Mirzakhani, 40, fought with cancer for four years and was hospitalized lately as the cancer has spread to her bone marrow.

Mirzakhani was lauded for her outstanding contributions to the dynamics and geometry of Riemann surfaces and their moduli spaces.

In another interview, she said of her process: "I don't have any particular recipe [for developing new proofs] ..."

"I find it fascinating that you can look at the same problem from different perspectives and approach it using different methods", she said. She specialized in theoretical mathematics.