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Maryam Mirzakhani, First Woman to Earn the Math Equivalent of the Nobel Prize, Dies at 40

Professor Maryam MirzakhaniProfessor Maryam Mirzakhani
Photo courtesy of Maryam Mirzakhani—Corbis/GettyNASA? Corbis via Getty Images

Maryam Mirzakhani, the first and only woman to earn the math equivalent of the Nobel Prize, died at the age of 40 Saturday.

Mirzakhani was a professor at Stanford University and was one of the four winners of the Fields Medal in mathematics in 2014.

According to the Associated Press, Mirzakhani died after a long battle with breast cancer.

“Maryam is gone far too soon, but her impact will live on for the thousands of women she inspired to pursue math and science,” Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne said in a release. “Maryam was a brilliant mathematical theorist, and also a humble person who accepted honors only with the hope that it might encourage others to follow her path. Her contributions as both a scholar and a role model are significant and enduring, and she will be dearly missed here at Stanford and around the world.”

Mirzakhani is survived by her husband, Jan Vondrák, and daughter, Anahita, AP reported.