Maryam Mirzakhani, an Iranian-born mathematician has become the first woman ever to win the Fields Medal- - the most prestigious honor widely viewed as the Nobel Prize of mathematics. Mirzakhani, who earned her bachelor’s degree in Iran, has a PhD in pure mathematics from Harvard and is now a professor at Stanford University in California. She was one of four winners announced by the International Congress of Mathematicians or the I-C-M, at its conference in Seoul. The I-C-M has in a statement hailed the 37-year-old Iranian mathematician, saying she embodies a rare combination of superb technical ability, bold ambition, far-reaching vision, and deep curiosity. Mirzakhani’s award recognizes her sophisticated and highly original contributions to the fields of geometry and dynamical systems, particularly in understanding the symmetry of curved surfaces such as spheres.

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