Maryam Mirzakhani – A Genius of Maths
Doughnuts and billiards: we celebrate the only woman to win the biggest prize in mathematics.
The only woman to win the maths world’s biggest prize has died at the age of 40. Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani stunned colleagues with her ability and imagination. As the only female winner of the Fields Medal – the maths equivalent to the Nobel Prize – she inspired a generation of female mathematicians.
In this week’s programme we look at Maryam Mirzakhani’s life and legacy. We speak to her close friend Curtis McMullen, the Harvard Professor who worked with Mirzakhani in her earliest years; and we also hear from Professor Gwyneth Stallard OBE, a champion of women in maths.
Mirzakhani solved problems involving bizarre shapes and forms. Dr Tom Crawford explains why the doughnuts and tea-cup shapes of Mirzakhani’s work are so vitally important.
Presenter: Charlotte McDonald
Producer: Hannah Sander
(image: Front pages of Iranian newspapers on July 16, 2017 bearing portraits of the top female scientist and mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani. Credit: Atta Kenare/ Getty Images)