Over many years STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) have primarily been seen as a male dominated environment however, in the modern era we see an increase in the amount of women taking up STEM based careers. In consideration to the ridiculousness of how women were isolated from many employment opportunities based on a prerequisite judgement of stereotype based upon gender.
So in the enlightenment of the modern era of ever-growing numbers of women mathematicians and women in STEM I would like to share a life of a women Mathematician which lead to her becoming the first ever female recipient of the Fields Medal (Commonly seen as the “Nobel Prize for Mathematics”).
Maryam Mirzakhani (1977-2017)
Maryam Mirzakhani was an Iranian mathematician and her research included: hyperbolic geometry, Teichmuller theory, ergodic theory and symplectic theory.
Her education lead her to becoming the first female Iranian student to achieve a gold medal in the International Mathematical Olympiad and also the first Iranian student o achieve a perfect score and to win two gold medals. Then at higher education she obtained a BSc in 1999 before moving the US to earn her Ph.D. in 2004.
Her research lead to several contributions to the theory of moduli spaces on Riemann surfaces and also working on Teichmuller dynamics of moduli space.
Mirzakhani was awarded the Fields Medal in 2004 for “her outstanding contributions to the dynamics and geometry of Riemann surfaces and their moduli spaces” as said by her IMU Prize Citation.
To conclude, Maryam Mirzakhani was an outstanding mathematician and one whom which sets a brilliant example to Women in STEM. Over the past few decades women in STEM has risen however it is still only 21% (2016) but on a positive note the amount of women in STEM has risen from 789,575 to 802,848 from 2015 to 2016. Women in STEM have made incredible contributions and I’m sure there are many more to come.
Which woman in STEM inspires you?