I felt that this week’s Fierce Femme Friday was an important story to tell. Today we discuss Maryam Mirzakhani, a brilliant mind that was taken from us way too soon.
Growing up in Tehran, Maryam was a voracious reader and learning all that she could. Mathematics wasn’t her first career choice, originally she had wanted to be a writer but eventually fell in love with the beauty of math. In 1999 she received her BCs from Sharif University in Tehran and then went to Harvard for her graduate degree and to start a career in theoretical mathematics. It was her incredible imagination that helped fuel her ability to theorize and work out the problems in such detail. Reading accounts of her process by her colleagues and husband it was like something out of a beautiful mind. She would draw her equations over and over on large sheets of paper that covered her living room floor. Maryam truly loved what she math and it showed.
Most notably, in 2014 she was the first woman to win The Fields Medal, which is considered the Nobel Prize of Mathematics.
Maryam lost her battle with breast cancer this week. She is survived by her husband and young daughter. She leaves a legacy of being a pioneer and that women can be great mathematicians.