It’s Woman Crush Wednesday, where we honor the women we want to be when we grow up. Allow us to introduce you to the first bad-ass, genius woman whose photo we’re taping to the inside of our lockers.
Name: Maryam Mirzakhani
So why should we care about this lady? She won the Fields Medal!
Which is? Basically the Nobel prize for mathematics.
That’s pretty cool! Have any women won before? No! That’s what makes Maryam so cool! She’s the first woman to have won the prize since it was established nearly 80 years ago — which is kind of lame, but that doesn’t make Maryam any less bad-ass.
So she must pretty smart, huh? Like, she must have been doing math in her crib or whatever? Actually, no. I mean — she’s smart, definitely — but she hasn’t always been doing math. Born and raised in Iran, Maryam was initially really into books and wanted to be a writer. (So, yes. She’s basically good at everything and better than everyone else at doing everything.)
So when did she become a math genius? She didn’t really get into math until her last year of high school! Before that, she was apparently not even that good at numbers. “I can see that without being excited, mathematics can look pointless and cold. The beauty of mathematics only shows itself to more patient followers,” she said once in an interview.
So what happened when she finally figured out she was good at math? She tore it up, that’s what. She competed in the International Math Olympiads and took home the gold — more than once. She also got her PhD at Harvard.
Wow. That’s awesome. I’m actually pretty into math — how can I learn from her? Well, she teaches at Stanford University, so perhaps you could apply to go there? Who knows? Maybe you can be the next woman to win the Fields Medal!
Who else has a crush on her? Oh, you know. Just Melinda Gates and Harvard Univeristy. That’s all. No big deal.
Maryam Mirzakhani is the first woman to win the Fields Medal – one of the highest honors in mathematics. Congrats! http://t.co/g64EKP9lHB
— Melinda Gates (@melindagates) August 13, 2014
Congrats to Maryam Mirzakhani, the first woman to win the Fields Medal! She completed her PhD at Harvard in 2004 http://t.co/ADcR6cxGYV
— Harvard University (@Harvard) August 13, 2014