Maryam Mirzakhani/Corbis/Getty Images

First woman to win prestigious Fields Medal dies

July 15, 2017 - 11:46 am

(STANFORD, Calif.) -- Maryam Mirzakhani, the first woman to receive the Fields Medal for mathematics, has died, according to the BBC.

The 40-year-old died of breast cancer, which had spread to her bones.

The Fields Medal, nicknamed the "Nobel Prize for Mathematics" is awarded every four years to a handful of mathematicians under age 40. Mirzakhani received the medal in 2014 for her work on complex geometry and dynamical systems.

Born in 1977, Mirzakhani was raised in post-revolutionary Iran and won two gold medals in the International Mathematical Olympiad as a teenager, according to the BBC.

She earned her doctorate at Harvard University and taught at Stanford University.

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