Math's Highest Honor Is Given To A Woman For The First Time : The Two-Way : NPR: Four mathematicians were today awarded the Fields Medal, including Iranian Maryam Mirzakhani, the first female mathematician to be given the honor that's often called math's equivalent of the Nobel Prize.
Mirzakhani, 37, is a professor at Stanford University, and was honored in Seoul, South Korea, for her "striking and highly original contributions to geometry and dynamical systems."
Here's more from Stanford:
"The award recognizes Mirzakhani's 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. Although her work is considered 'pure mathematics' and is mostly theoretical, it has implications for physics and quantum field theory."