First Woman to win Fields Medal Mathematics prize for first time in its history

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Iranian-born mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani, who has become the first woman to win the Fields Medal, the most prestigious prize in mathematics. Photograph: Stanford University

A woman has won the world’s most prestigious mathematics prize for the first time since the award was established nearly 80 years ago.

Maryam Mirzakhani, an Iranian maths professor at Stanford University in California, was named the first female winner of the Fields Medal — often described as the Nobel prize for mathematics — at a ceremony in Seoul on Wednesday. The maths community has been abuzz with rumours for months that Mirzakhani was in line to win the prize.

The prize, worth 15,000 Canadian dollars, is awarded to exceptional talents under the age of 40 once every four years by the International Mathematical Union. Between two and four prizes are announced each time.

There have been 55 Fields medallists since the prize was first awarded in 1936,including this year’s winners. The Russian mathematician Grigori Perelman refused the prize in 2006 for his proof of the Poincaré conjecture. Read more…

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Originally published at on June 1, 2015.