At age thirty-seven, Maryam Mirzakhani (1977–2017) received the Fields Medal in recognition of her sophisticated and highly original contributions to the fields of geometry and dynamical systems, particularly in understanding the symmetry of curved surfaces, such as spheres, the surfaces of doughnuts, and of hyperbolic objects. To date, she remains the sole woman, and the only Iranian, to have received this honor.
A year later, Mirzakhani spent the fall 2015 term at the Institute as the Minerva Research Foundation Member, working intensively with collaborators Alex Eskin and Amir Mohammadi. They explored important questions opened up by their breakthrough work on orbit closures for the action of SL(2,ℝ) on moduli spaces of pairs comprised of a compact Riemann surface together with a differential.
Fields Medalist, 2014