An Iranian mathematician working in the US has won the Fields medal. And the kicker? She’s a woman. Professor Maryam Mirzakhani was recognized for her work on complex geometry.
In becoming the very first female medallist, Prof Mirzakhani – who teaches at Stanford University in California – ends what has been a long wait for the mathematics community.
Prof Dame Frances Kirwan, a member of the medal selection committee from the University of Oxford, pointed out that despite maths being viewed traditionally as “a male preserve”, women have contributed to mathematics for centuries.
She noted that around 40% of maths undergraduates in the UK are women, but that proportion declines rapidly at PhD level and beyond.
“I hope that
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