Maryam Mirzakhani (1977-2017) was an Iranian mathematician and professor of mathematics at Stanford University. She was the first woman to receive the Fields Medal, which is considered one of the highest honours in mathematics, in 2014.

Mirzakhani was born in Tehran, Iran and showed an early aptitude for mathematics. She completed her undergraduate studies at Sharif University of Technology in Iran and went on to earn her PhD from Harvard University in 2004. After a brief period as a postdoctoral researcher at Princeton University, she joined the faculty at Stanford University in 2008.

Mirzakhani’s research was primarily in the field of dynamical systems and geometry. She made significant contributions to the study of Riemann surfaces and their moduli spaces and was particularly interested in the geometry of moduli spaces of Riemann surfaces of genus greater than 1. Her work was both original and highly regarded in the mathematics community, and she received numerous awards and accolades for her contributions.

In addition to her research, Mirzakhani was also an inspiring teacher and mentor to her students. She was known for her passion for mathematics and her ability to convey complex concepts in a simple and intuitive way.

Mirzakhani died in 2017 at the age of 40, leaving behind a legacy of remarkable contributions to mathematics and a reputation as a brilliant and dedicated mathematician. Her life and achievements serve as an inspiration to women and underrepresented groups in the field of mathematics and beyond.