Growing up in Iran, Maryam Mirzakhani loved reading novels and dreamed of being a writer. In high school math began to appeal to her because it made her feel like a detective. There was tremendous satisfaction in finding solutions to tough problems, she says.
Cut to the awarding of this year's Fields Medal, the world's highest honor in math. Mirzakhani, now a 37-year-old Stanford University math professor, became the first woman to win it, for her sophisticated, original work in geometry and dynamical systems. The award will be presented Aug. 13.
You might remember the Fields Medal as being won by the fairly pompous professor in Good Will Hunting, who took Matt Damon's savant character under his wing.
Now that Mirzakhani has become the first woman to win it, all we have to say is "How do you like them apples?"
(Photo: Mariana Cook/Facebook)