CLEMSON – The life and legacy of Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani will be celebrated on Nov. 30 in an event arranged by the Clemson Iranian Student Association and the student chapter of the Association for Women in Mathematics.

Maryam Mirzakhani was a theoretical mathematician at Stanford University.
Image Credit: Stanford University News

Mirzakhani was a professor of mathematics at Stanford University and a 2014 winner of the Fields Medal – the most prestigious award in mathematics, often equated to a Nobel Prize. To date, Mirzakhani is the only woman, and the only Iranian, to have won the award since its inception in 1936.

After a four-year battle with breast cancer, Mirzakhani passed away on July 14, 2017. But her research – which sought to describe the geometry and dynamics of curved surfaces such as spheres, doughnut shapes and amoebas – lives on. Mirzakhani paved new paths in fields like quantum physics, cryptography, material science and engineering.

“With results like Maryam’s, we can formulate and answer questions that were inconceivable before her work,” said Martin Schmoll, a professor in the department of mathematical sciences. “Problems that were unthinkable, in a very literal sense of the word, became accessible, creating a new scientific horizon.”

Schmoll is the invited speaker at the Nov. 30 event, which is open to the public and will be held from 5-7:30 p.m. in Holtzendorff Auditorium on the campus of Clemson University. The festivities will include a short film and a musical performance. Refreshments will be provided.

For more information, contact graduate student Kara Stasikelis (stasike@g.clemson.edu) or post-doctoral fellow Negin Kananizadeh (nkanani@clemson.edu).

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