About the Maryam Mirzakhani Prize in Mathematics

In July 2017, the field of mathematics and the world as a whole lost one of its brightest and most promising minds with the passing of Maryam Mirzakhani at the age of 40. Dr. Mirzakhani was an Iranian mathematician, professor at Stanford University, and member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. She was the first woman to win the Fields Medal, the most prestigious award in mathematics, often equated in stature with the Nobel Prize.

In recognition of Dr. Mirzakhani’s remarkable life and achievements, the National Academy of Sciences has established a newly named Maryam Mirzakhani Prize in Mathematics (formerly the NAS Award in Mathematics, which was established in 1988 by the American Mathematical Society in honor of its centennial). The prize will be awarded biennially for exceptional contributions to the mathematical sciences by a mid-career mathematician. Nominations for the inaugural Mirzakhani Prize are due by October 7, 2019.

The National Academy of Sciences launched a fundraising campaign to establish a $390,000 endowment to support this prize. The Simons Foundation has generously committed a $150,000 challenge grant that will match one-for-one the gifts and pledges to the prize endowment made by October 31, 2019. Donations can be made through our online gift form.

For additional information, please contact:
Mark L. Carter
Director of Development

Most Recent Recipient

Michael J. Hopkins, professor of mathematics at Harvard University, received the 2012 NAS Award in Mathematics. Hopkins is being honored for his research in algebraic topology, a field that studies algebraic invariants of the shape of continuous subsets in higher dimensional space. Hopkins has established important connections between algebraic topology and other areas of mathematics, and has contributed to the solution of a long-standing problem on the Kervaire invariant. Established by the American Mathematical Society in commemoration of its centennial, the award consists of a $5,000 prize for excellence of research in the mathematical sciences published within the past 10 years.


Michael J. Hopkins (2012)
For his leading role in the development of homotopy theory, which has both reinvigorated algebraic topology as a central field in mathematics and led to the resolution of the Kervaire invariant problem for framed manifolds.

Clifford H. Taubes (2008)
For groundbreaking work relating to Seiberg-Witten and Gromov-Witten invariants of symplectic 4-manifolds, and his proof of Weinstein conjecture for all contact 3-manifolds.

Dan-Virgil Voiculescu (2004)
For the theory of free probability, in particular, using random matrices and a new concept of entropy to solve several hitherto intractable problems in von Neumann algebras.

Ingrid Daubechies (2000)
For fundamental discoveries on wavelets and wavelet expansions and for her role in making wavelet methods a practical basic tool of applied mathematics.

Andrew J. Wiles (1996)
For his proof of Fermat's Last Theorem by discovering a beautiful strategy to establish a major portion of the Shimura-Taniyama conjecture, and for his courage and technical power in bringing his idea to completion.

Robert MacPherson (1992)
For his role in the introduction and application of radically new approaches to the topology of singular spaces, including characteristics classes, intersection homology, perverse sheaves, and stratified Morse theory.

Robert P. Langlands (1988)
For his extraordinary vision, which has brought the theory of group representations into a revolutionary new relationship with the theory of automorphic forms and number theory.

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