STANFORD (CBS SF) – A Stanford professor has become the first woman ever to win the Fields medal, the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for mathematics.
Professor Maryam Mirzakhani will be recognized for her work in geometry and the understanding of symmetry of curved surfaces. Her work, considered ‘pure mathematics,’ is largely theoretical but has “implications for physics and quantum field theory,” according to Stanford.
Mirzakhani has been a known name in mathematics since winning national competitions in the mid 90’s, but the Fields Medal puts her among math’s true elite.
“This is a great honor. I will be happy if it encourages young female scientists and mathematicians,” Mirzakhani said in a statement from Stanford. “I am sure there will be many more women winning this kind of award in coming years.”
The Fields Medal will be presented by the International Mathematical Union in Seoul, South Korea on Aug. 13.
Mirzakhani has been teaching at Stanford since 2008. She becomes the schools first Fields Medal winner since Paul Cohen in 1966.