Sunday, July 16, 2017

Too soon -- Maryam Mirzakhani taken by cancer

     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 --
          like solving
          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.

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