“I congratulate you on winning the world’s topmost award in the field of mathematics,” said President Hassan Rouhani in a message published on Wednesday.
“Today, Iranians can justly feel proud that the first woman to win the Fields Medal is their fellow citizen. Yes, the most competent should verily sit at the highest position and enjoy respect. On behalf of the Iranian nation, I value your scientific endeavors,” Rouhani said, adding all Iranians across the world are seen as the county’s national asset.
The award recognizes Mirzakhani’s sophisticated and highly original contributions to the fields of geometry and dynamical systems, particularly in understanding the symmetry of curved surfaces, such as spheres, the surfaces of doughnuts and of hyperbolic objects.
Although her work is considered “pure mathematics” and is mostly theoretical, it has implications for physics and quantum field theory.
Mirzakhani became known to the international math scene as a teenager, winning gold medals at both the 1994 and 1995 International Math Olympiads.
After earning her bachelor’s degree from Tehran’s Sharif University of Technology in 1999, she began work on her doctorate at Harvard University under the guidance of Fields Medal recipient Curtis McMullen.
She possesses a remarkable fluency in a diverse range of mathematical techniques and disparate mathematical cultures, including algebra, calculus, complex analysis and hyperbolic geometry. By borrowing principles from several fields, she has brought a new level of understanding to an area of mathematics called low dimensional topology, according to Stanford University website.
From 2004 to 2008, she was a Clay Mathematics Institute Research Fellow and an assistant professor at Princeton University. In 2008, she became a professor of mathematics at Stanford.