The brilliant and celebrated mathematician -- and 2014 Fields Medal Winner -- Maryam Mirzakhani has, on July 14 at age 40, died after a long battle with cancer. I learned this sad news from NPR. The radio story tells that (as was the case also for me) early in her life, Mirzakhani had wanted to be a writer, but her mathematical talents won out. Her description of mathematics is a charming one and math deserves to be more-often pictured in this positive way:
is fun --
a puzzle or
connecting the dots
in a detective case.
This stanza-form, in which lines grow in length by one syllable at a time, is called a syllable-snowball.