Iranian genius mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani dies aged 40

Maryam Mirzakhani

Firouz Naderi, a retired NASA scientist and former director of the space agency's Solar System Exploration Program, announced her passing on his personal Instagram account.

Senior scientific and political figures have expressed condolences on the sad demise of Maryam Mirzakhani, the genius Iranian mathematician who died of breast cancer on Saturday.

The Fields Medal, nicknamed the "Nobel Prize for Mathematics" is awarded every four years to a handful of mathematicians under age 40.

The 40-year-old fought the disease for four years and was recently hospitalised in the United States as the cancer spread to her bone marrow.

"A light was turned off today, it breaks my heart...."

Mirzakhani was born in Tehran and lived there until she began her doctorate work at Harvard University, later taking a professorship at Stanford University. "It is fun - it's like solving a puzzle or connecting the dots in a detective case".

Watch an Emirates flight attendant pour Champagne dregs back into the bottle
As some commenters pointed out, the flight attendant may not be pouring leftover champagne drank by someone else into the bottle. The Emirates video received plenty of attention on Instagram , with about 12,000 views and a wide range of comments.

Ali Akbar Salehi, an MIT-educated nuclear physicist who now leads the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, also said, "I offer my condolences over the untimely and heartbreaking demise of her to Iranians, her family, and all scientists worldwide".

"Mirzakhani said she enjoyed pure mathematics because of the elegance and longevity of the questions she studies".

She was a research fellow at Clay Mathematics Institute from 2004 to 2008 and served as an assistant professor of mathematics at Princeton University. "I will be happy if it encourages young female scientists and mathematicians". She is survived by her husband Jan Vondrák and their daughter Anahita.

"Separately on Instagram, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Mirzakhani's death is a cause for grief for all Iranians". She won two gold medals at the International Mathematical Olympiad, bringing home the top honors in 1994 and 1995.

Stanford University has not responded to a request for comment from Newsweek.

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