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Iranian is first woman to win prestigious global maths prize

Published on Aug 13, 2014 6:14 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - An Iranian-born mathematician has become the first woman to win a prestigious global prize known as the Fields Medal, the International Congress of Mathematicians announced on Tuesday.

Maryam Mirzakhani, a Harvard educated mathematician and professor at Stanford University in California, was one of four winners announced at the group's conference in Seoul.

An expert in the geometry of unusual forms, she has come up with novel ways to calculate the volumes of oddly-shaped hyperbolic surfaces, which can be curved like a saddle or curly like a piece of crochet.

"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.

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