Maryam Mirzakhani was a mathematician at Stanford University when she passed away in 2017 from breast cancer. Originally from Iran, Mirzakhani was a gold medal winner in the Iranian National Olympiad for mathematics for two years in a row. This allowed her to enter college without completing the national entrance exams. Mirzakhani went on to obtain a Bachelor of Science in mathematics. During this time she was also recognized by the American Mathematical Society for her contribution to a simple proof for a theorem of Schur.
She then went to Harvard University for her PhD. After Harvard, Mirzakhani was a research fellow of the Clay Mathematics Institute, a professor at Princeton University, and a professor at Stanford University. Throughout her life she made many contributions to the field of mathematics. Her work mainly focused on moduli spaces, geodesics, and Riemann surfaces. In 2014 Mirzakhani was awarded the Fields Medal for her work on Riemann surfaces and their moduli spaces. Near the end of her life, Mirzakhani won many other awards and was elected to various academies.
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