Amid all the horror and hard choices dominating the global news this summer, it’s important not to miss the brighter trends as well. So it is worth taking a moment to salute Maryam Mirzakhani, who became the first woman to win a Fields Medal, the Nobel of maths, this week.
Mirzakhani was among four researchers to be awarded the prestigious medal this year, which recognises outstanding achievement and future promise in mathematical research from those under the age of 40.
A professor at Stanford University in California, born and raised in Iran, Mirzakhani was recognised for her work on Riemann surfaces and their moduli spaces, and for her ability to bridge many mathematical disciplines in the process. I can’t even begin to understand the details of her achievement, but we should rejoice that we live at a time rich enough to make it possible.