Maryam Mirzakhani is the first women to win the Fields Medal in the award's long history. Since 1936, the Fields Medal has been awarded every 4 years to 2-4 of the top mathematicians under 40 for outstanding work in mathematics.
Professor Mirzakhani (37) grew up in Iran and completed a bachelors degree in Math form Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, going on to obtain her PhD from Harvard. She is now a professor in Stanford's math department.
roughly means that she considers abstract questions related to non-Euclidean entities such as, for example, the surface of a pretzel.
[image via wikipedia]