This year's 4 winners of the 2014 Fields Medal, mathematics most prestigious prize awarded by the International Mathematical Union, have been announced.
Maryam Mirzakhani is a 37-year old Iranian-born Professor of Mathematics at Stanford University in California. Martin Hairer, is a 38-year-old Austrian based at Warwick University in the UK. Manjul Bhargava, is a 40-year old Canadian-American at Princeton University in the US and Artur Avila, 35, is a Brazilian-French researcher at the Institute of Mathematics of Jussieu in Paris. Professor Maryam is the first ever female winner of the Medal.
The Fields Medal was established by Canadian mathematician John Fields and comes with a 15,000 Canadian dollar (£8,000) cash prize. The medal is awarded to between two and four researchers, who must be no older than 40, because Fields wanted to encourage the winners to strive for "further achievement" as well as recognise their success.
Frances Kirwan, Professor of Mathematics in Oxford and a member of the Fields Medal Committee, said of Professor Mirzakhani's success: "I hope that this award will inspire lots more girls and young women, in this country and around the world, to believe in their own abilities and aim to be the Fields Medallists of the future". Read an interview that Professor Mirzakhani gave to the Clay Mathematics Institute where she was a Fellow along with Professors Avila and Bhargava.