Monthly Archives: July 2017

Marina Ratner passes away

Another great female mathematician, Marina Ratner, passed away  on July 7th, 2017. Marina played in a key role in linking up the Russian and western schools of dynamical systems and later became famous for her beautiful theorems on unipotent flows on homogeneous spaces, and their application to questions in number theory, see for example

The following is taken from the UC Berkeley website:

Marina Ratner   Professor Emeritus passed away on July 7, 2017, at her home in El Cerrito, California.  Professor Ratner was educated in Moscow, obtained her doctoral degree at the Moscow State University, emigrated to Israel in 1971, and joined the Berkeley Mathematics Department in 1975. Her work was mainly in ergodic theory and its connections with other parts of mathematics, and earned many honors, including the Ostrowski prize and the John J. Carty Award. She was a plenary speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. She was also an outstanding and beloved teacher and cared deeply about mathematics education.


She is survived by her daughter Anna Ratner, son-in-law Charles Cox, grandchildren Bryan and Maya, and nephews Michael Bialy (a Professor of Mathematics at Tel Aviv University) and Alex Bialy.

Maryam Mirzakhani passes away

We are very deeply saddened by the news that Maryam Mirzakhani, the first woman to win the Fields medal,  passed away today, Saturday July 15th 2017, at the age of 40.

A brilliant mathematician, she has been an inspiration to so many. She will be sorely missed. Our condolences to her family and friends.

Her beautiful mathematics will stand as a memorial long after those of us who have had the privilege of knowing her personally are gone.

Various links with tributes and information on her life and career can be found on the EWM website here.

For a page of tributes set up by the AMS see here.

Here is an interview with Maryam in the Guardian  from August 2014, together with some more links and here is an obituary by Martin Bridson,  July 2017.

A very nice and informative interview by Erica Klarreich which appeared in Quanta magazine in 2014 is here.