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The first female Fields Medalist Maryam Mirzakhani, left an astonishing mathematical legacy at her untimely death in 2017. This talk will explain the lasting contributions of her work to our understanding of the world, and give a glimpse into Professor Mirzakhani's imaginative and hands-on approach to mathematics.

This lecture will be delivered by Professor Holly Krieger who is the Corfield Lecturer in Mathematics and the Corfield Fellow at Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge.

We’re here today to discuss the work of one of mathematics’ brightest modern stars, Maryam Mirzakhani. Maryam was an Iranian mathematician whose deep and creative mathematical work received the highest accolades in mathematics, and a warm and enthusiastic woman whose life and work were cut short at just age 40, when she succumbed to breast cancer. What I’d like to do today is to communicate to you some of Maryam’s work, not just the mathematical content but also a sense of why mathematicians find it so impressive and compelling. Really, I’d like to share with you all the appreciation I feel when I think about her mathematics, and to give you a sense of the excitement and enthusiasm that she felt while working - to pass on to you some part of her legacy, as best I can.

Maryam’s work concerned the connection between two fields. The first, geometry, is familiar to use from the very early school years - even in nursery, children learn “circle”, “triangle”, “bigger”, and so on. To a mathematician, geometry is not just the study of shape, which we more commonly call “topology”, but the study of how shapes interact with measurements of size, distance, or curvature. Geometry has innumerable applications outside mathematics, to physics, art, architecture, biology, and so on, but it also is deeply connected to many other fields of mathematics, like number theory and algebra.

Read more gresham.ac.u...