Maryam Mirzakhani’s Win will encourage Many Young Female Mathematicians
Nearly after eight decades of the establishment of the Fields Medal, a woman has won the medal. Maryam Mirzakhani is the first woman to win the most prestigious mathematics award.
At a ceremony in Seoul on August 13, Mirzakhani, an Iranian maths professor at Stanford University in California, was awarded with the prize, which is often described as the Nobel Prize for mathematics. Mirzakhani describes language of maths as 'full of beauty and elegance'.
The International Mathematical Union gives the prize to extremely talented mathematicians under the age of 40 years after every four years. The prize is worth 15,000 Canadian dollars
Three more researchers have won the prize at the ceremony in South Korea. Martin Hairer, 38, from Warwick University in the UK, Manjul Bhargava, 40, from Princeton University in the US and Arthur Avila, 35, a Brazilian-French researcher at the Institute of Mathematics of Jussieu in Paris, are the other three winners.
Fellow mathematicians have congratulated Mirzakhani, 37. Christiane Rousseau, Vice President of the International Mathematics Union, is also very happy and termed the moment as an 'extraordinary'. Rousseau said Marie- Curie won prizes in physics and chemistry. But Mirzakhani has become the first woman to win the prize in maths and it is indeed a celebration for women.
Women have contributed in the fields of maths, but they failed to get the recognition. But finally, this moment has come, said Sir Tim Gowers, a Fields medalist and mathematician at Cambridge University.
As a child, it was not mathematics that used to excite Mirzakhani, born and raised in Iran. Initially, literature was her favourite and eventually she developed interest in maths.
Mirzakhani hopes many more young female scientists and mathematicians will win the award in the coming years. But she also feels that the situation for women in maths is still far from being ideal.
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