Maryam Mirzakhani, a Professor at Stanford, was one of four winners honored Wednesday at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Seoul.
Maryam Mirzakhani Becomes First Woman To Win Prestigious Fields Medal
Our Source: The Huffington Post
The IMU had planned to publicly announce the names on 13 August in Seoul at the International Congress of Mathematicians, but — owing presumably to a technical glitch — the page with the announcement was already live on the organization’s website in 12 August. The Wikipedia pages for the winners appeared to have been updated anonymously on the same day after 18:00 London time.
In addition to the medal itself, the Fields Institute, based in Toronto, awards each winner CAN$15,000 (US$13,700) in cash. The prizes are given to researchers aged 40 years or younger every four years. Although the prizes recognize outstanding achievement in the early stages of a career, they are also seen as an indicator of mathematicians to watch in the future.
A native of Iran, Maryam Mirzakhani is at Stanford University in California. She won for her work on “the dynamics and geometry of Riemann surfaces and their moduli spaces.”
“Perhaps Maryam’s most important achievement is her work on dynamics,” says Curtis McMullen of Harvard University. Many natural problems in dynamics, such as the three-body problem of celestial mechanics (for example, interactions of the Sun, the Moon and Earth), have no exact mathematical solution. Mirzakhani found that in dynamical systems evolving in ways that twist and stretch their shape, the systems’ trajectories “are tightly constrained to follow algebraic laws”, says McMullen.
He adds that Mirzakhani’s achievements “combine superb problem-solving ability, ambitious mathematical vision and fluency in many disciplines, which is unusual in the modern era, when considerable specialization is often required to reach the frontier”.
|Born||Persian: مریم میرزاخانی
May 1977 (age 37)
|Residence||California, United States|
|Thesis||Simple geodesics on hyperbolic surfaces and the volume of the moduli space of curves (2004)|
|Doctoral advisor||Curtis T. McMullen|
Her research interests include Teichmüller theory, hyperbolic geometry, ergodic theory, and symplectic geometry. In 2014, Mirzakhani became the first woman as well as the first Iranian to be awarded the Fields Medal.
Mirzakhani found international recognition as a brilliant teenager after receiving gold medals at both the 1994 International Mathematical Olympiad (Hong Kong) and the 1995 International Mathematical Olympiad (Toronto), where she was the first Iranian student to finish with a perfect score.
Mirzakhani went to high school at Farzanegan, National Organization for Development of Exceptional Talents (NODET), in Tehran, Iran. She obtained her B.Sc. in mathematics (1999) from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran. She holds a PhD from Harvard University (2004), where she worked under the supervision of the Fields Medallist Curtis McMullen. She was also a 2004 research fellow of the Clay Mathematics Institute and a professor at Princeton University.
Mirzakhani has made several contributions to the theory of moduli spaces of Riemann surfaces. In her early work, Maryam Mirzakhani discovered a formula expressing the volume of a moduli space with a given genus as a polynomial in the number of boundary components. This led her to obtain a new proof for the conjecture of Edward Witten on the intersection numbers of tautology classes on moduli space as well as an asymptotic formula for the length of simple closedgeodesics on a compact hyperbolic surface. Her subsequent work has focused on Teichmuller dynamics of moduli space. In particular, she was able to prove the long-standing conjecture that William Thurston‘s earthquake flow on Teichmüller space is ergodic.
Awards and honours
- Fields Medal 2014
- Plenary speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM 2014)
- Clay Research Award 2014
- The 2013 AMS Ruth Lyttle Satter Prize in Mathematics. “Presented every two years by the American Mathematical Society, the Satter Prize recognizes an outstanding contribution to mathematics research by a woman in the preceding six years. The prize was awarded on Thursday, 10 January 2013, at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Diego.”
- AMS Blumenthal Award 2009
- Clay Mathematics Institute Research Fellow 2004
- Harvard Junior Fellowship Harvard University, 2003
- Merit fellowship Harvard University, 2003
- IPM Fellowship The Institute for theoretical Physics and Mathematics, Tehran, Iran, 1995–99
- Invited talk at the International Congress of Mathematicians in 2010, on the topic of “Topology and Dynamical Systems & ODE”
- Mirzakhani, Maryam. “Curriculum Vitae”. Archived from the original on 24 November 2005. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
- Maryam Mirzakhani at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
- “Mirzakhani Curriculum Vitae”. Princeton University. Archived from the original on 29 August 2008. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- Jonathan, Webb (2014). “First female winner for Fields maths medal”. BBC News. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
- “Curriculum Vitæ, Maryam Mirzakhani (older version, at CMI)”. Archived from the original on 24 November 2005. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- Maryam Mirzakhani (2007). “Weil-Petersson volumes and intersection theory on the moduli space of curves”. Journal of the American Mathematical Society. doi:10.1090/S0894-0347-06-00526-1.
- Maryam Mirzakhani (2006). “Simple geodesics and Weil-Petersson volumes of moduli spaces of bordered Riemann surfaces”. Inventiones mathematicae. doi:10.1007/s00222-006-0013-2.
- “Stanford Report, 9 April 2008 – Report of the President to the Board of Trustees”. Stanford University. 9 April 2008. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- Ball, Philip (2014). “Iranian is first woman to nab highest prize in maths: Maryam Mirzakhani is among four young researchers to win Fields Medals, awarded every four years”. Nature.doi:10.1038/nature.2014.15686.
- “IMU Prizes 2014”. International Mathematical Union. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- Mathis-Lilley, Ben (8 August 2014). “A Woman Has Won the Fields Medal, Math’s Highest Prize, for the First Time”. Slate.com. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
- Polo, Susana. “Maryam Mirzakhani Becomes First Woman to Earn Fields Medal for Mathematics in Its 78 Year History”. The Mary Sue. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
- Maryam Mirzakhani’s results at the International Mathematical Olympiad
- “Iranian woman wins maths’ top prize”. New Scientist. 12 August 2014. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
- ‘Brilliant’ minds honored: Maryam Mirzakhani (USA Today 2005)
- Maryam Mirzakhani from the Scopus bibliographic database
- Mirzakhani, M. (8 July 2010). “Ergodic Theory of the Earthquake Flow”. International Mathematics Research Notices. doi:10.1093/imrn/rnm116.
- “IMU Prizes 2014 citations”. International Mathematical Union. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- “A Tenacious Explorer of Abstract Surfaces”, simonsfoundation.org; accessed 13 April 2014.
- Jan Vondrak profile, ibm.com; accessed 13 April 2014.
- “IMU Prizes 2014”. International Mathematical Union.
- “Médaille Fields de mathématiques : une femme promue pour la première fois”. Lemonde.fr. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
- “2014 Clay Research Awards”.
- American Mathematical Society; retrieved 6 January 2009
- “Interview with Research Fellow Maryam Mirzakhani”. Oxford University. 2008.
- “ICM Plenary and Invited Speakers since 1897”. International Congress of Mathematicians. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
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