We are delighted to announce our first Maryam Mirzakhani Scholar. Marta Bucca (pictured) will join Oxford Mathematics in October as a postgraduate student in the Mathematical Physics Group, to carry out research on String Theory under the supervision of Professor Mark Mezei.
The Maryam Mirzakhani scholarship has been enabled by philanthropy, including a £2.48m gift from founding and principal donor XTX Markets. It was launched in memory of Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani who, in 2014, became the first female mathematician to win the Fields Medal, the most prestigious prize for a mathematician under the age of 40.
The Maryam Mirzakhani Scholarship aims to address the disproportionately low levels of representation of women applying for and completing postgraduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Nationally, only 29 per cent of postgraduate research students identify as female, according to figures from HESA.
The gift from XTX Markets has led to further donations and together they have endowed fully funded scholarships for female students of any nationality to complete a standard four-year DPhil in Mathematics at Oxford’s Mathematical Institute.
James Sparks, Head of the Mathematical Institute, said: "Our first Maryam Mirzakhani scholar marks an important step in our commitment to widening female participation at postgraduate level in the Mathematical Institute. We look forward to welcoming Marta to the Mathematical Physics research group in the autumn. I would like to express my thanks to XTX Markets and our other funders for so generously funding the scholarship scheme."