When I heard that John Green* had viral meningitis, I was immediately sympathetic, as I am aware that meningitis causes deathheadache and ennui. What, I asked myself, would make me feel better in such a situation?
The same thing that makes me feel better in all situations! Imagining driving my car!
Sadly, I could not find it in my heart to allow John to even hypothetically drive my car. But this is close.
Get well soon, John.
*at one of my tour signings, someone told me they thought I would be a good heroine in a John Green novel. I thanked her but I thought to myself WHAT JOHN GREEN IS GOING TO WRITE ACTION BOOKS YAY
Maggie, you made my day. Thank you for letting me get in your SHIVER car.
Mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani is the first woman and first Iranian to be awarded the Fields Medal!
The Fields Medal is one of the highest honors granted in math. Every four years the medal is awarded at the International Congress of the International Mathematical Union to two, three, or four mathematicians under the age of 40. Along with the Abel Prize, it is considered “the mathematician’s Nobel Prize.”
Mirzakhani’s work focuses on Riemann surfaces and their moduli spaces and connecting aspects of differential geometry, complex analysis, and dynamical systems. Currently she is working on developing the understanding of billiards and translation surfaces with fellow mathematician Alex Wright. A fantastic overview of her life can be found in this article.
The Fields Medal was also awarded to Artur Avila (dynamical systems), Manjul Bhargava (number theory), and Martin Hairer (stochastic differential equations).
Aww yeah women represent!
Also, this part of that article is so important:
"To her dismay, Mirzakhani did poorly in her mathematics class that year. Her math teacher didn’t think she was particularly talented, which undermined her confidence. At that age, “it’s so important what others see in you,” Mirzakhani said. “I lost my interest in math.”
The following year, Mirzakhani had a more encouraging teacher, however, and her performance improved enormously. “Starting from the second year, she was a star,” Beheshti said.”
In other words, what other people tell you about yourself impacts your performance, which is why we need to start telling young girls that they can be good at math. You can be amazing at something if you are put in an encouraging environment. Just a reminder to everyone not to feel discouraged. You can do it, friends!! =D