Mirzakhani described herself as a "slow" mathematician, saying "you have to spend some energy and effort to see the beauty of math." To solve problems, Mirzakhani would doodle on paper and write formulas around drawings. Her daughter described her mother's work as "painting".
2. In 1994, at 17, Maryam Mirzakhani achieved the gold medal level in International Mathematical Olympiad in Hong Kong, scoring 41 out of 42 points. The following year, she achieved a perfect score to win two gold medals in International Mathematical Olympiad held in Canada.
3. On 17 March 1998, after attending a conference consisting of gifted individuals and former Olympiad competitors, Mirzakhani boarded a bus to Tehran. The bus fell off a cliff, killing several passengers. Mirzakhani was among the few survivors.
4. After obtaining her BS in mathematics in Iran in 1999, Mirzakhani moved to the US for graduate work, earning a PhD in 2004 from Harvard University, where she worked under the supervision of the Fields Medalist Curtis T. McMullen. She used to take her class notes in Persian.
5. A year before she was diagnosed with cancer, and two years before she won a Fields medal for her breakthrough contributions to the dynamics and geometry of Riemann surfaces and their moduli spaces, Mirzakhani gave this lecture (watch it in full here): https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mxPE6vYwqLg …
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