Groundbreaking Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani, who became the first woman to receive the coveted Fields Medal, has died following a battle with breast cancer.
Mirzakhani, 40, was the first woman in the world and the first Iranian to be awarded the prestigious Fields Medal.
Mirzakhani fought with cancer for four years and was hospitalized recently as the cancer has spread to her bone marrow.
Christiane Rousseau, vice president of the International Mathematics Union, said at the time: "It's an extraordinary moment". The 40-year-old, who used to teach at Stanford University, was also the first Iranian woman to be elected to the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in May 2016 in recognition of her "distinguished and continuing achievement in original research". "May her eternal soul RIP", Gary Lewis, UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator in Iran, wrote on his twitter account. "Sad to learn about the passing of #MaryamMirzakhani - the intelligent #Iranian daughter, wife, mother, professor".
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Ali Akbar Salehi, an MIT-educated nuclear physicist who now leads the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, also said, "I offer my condolences over the untimely and heartbreaking demise of her to Iranians, her family, and all scientists worldwide".
Firouz Naderi, a former Iranian director of Solar Systems Exploration at NASA, had also announced her death in an Instagram post earlier in the day.
"A light was turned off today, it breaks my heart...." Later he twitted: "A genius? Yes".
She is survived by husband Jan Vondrák, a Czech theoretical computer scientist, and their daughter Anahita.
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