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First Woman To Win Major Math Prize Dies After Battle With Cancer

Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani speaks at an awards ceremony for mathematicians in Seoul in 2014.

Maryam Mirzakhani, an Iranian-born professor who in 2014 became the first woman to win the Fields Medal, the most prestigious international mathematical prize, has died after a battle with cancer.

Mirzakhani, a Harvard-educated mathematician and professor at Stanford University, died on July 15 at a hospital in the United States, a family member confirmed in an interview with semiofficial Mehr news agency.

She reportedly had breast cancer that had spread to her bones.

Mirzakhani was born in Tehran in 1977 and earned her doctorate in 2004 from Harvard.

She was an expert in the geometry of unusual forms and has come up with creative ways to calculate the volumes of hyperbolic surfaces, which can be curved like a saddle or be very curly.

Mirzakhani was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in May 2016.

Many Iranians are mourning her death and paying their respects by posting on social media.

Based on reporting by Mehr, ISNA, and the BBC