The Nobel Prize of mathematics has for the first time been given to a woman, and was given to an Iranian-born mathematician named Maryam Mirzakhani.
Maryam had been educated in Harvard and is a professor at Stanford University in California,and was just announced as one of four winners of the prestigious award.
Mirzakhani said: “This is a great honour. I will be happy if it encourages young female scientists and mathematicians”.
“I am sure there will be many more women winning this kind of award in coming years,” she added.
The awards committee praised Mirzakhani’s work on the fields of geometry and dynamical systems, particularly in understanding the symmetry of curved surfaces such as spheres.
Despite her work being said to be “pure mathematics” and is mostly theoretical, It can be applied to physics and quantum field theory, as well as for the study of prime numbers and cryptography.
“Fluent in a remarkably diverse range of mathematical techniques and disparate mathematical cultures, she embodies a rare combination of superb technical ability, bold ambition, far-reaching vision, and deep curiosity,” the ICM said in a statement.
Mirzakhani was born in Tehran in 1977 and got her PhD in 2004 from Harvard, She won the 2009 Blumenthal Award for the Advancement of Research in Pure Mathematics and the 2013 Satter Prize of the American Mathematical Society.
The Fields Medal is awarded every four years and mostly to winners over the age of 40.
As there is no Nobel Prize awarded for mathematics, the Fields Medal is the highest achievement for a Mathematician in the World.