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Iranian-Swedish woman among winners of top European math prize

Source: Tehran Times

Iranian-Swedish mathematician, Sara Zahedi, has been awarded a prominent prize by the European Mathematical Society. This is the top honor for young European mathematicians awarded once every four years, according to NPR.

Zahedi is being recognized for her efforts to improve computer simulations of the behavior of fluids that don't mix together.

Zahedi, 34, is the only woman to win one of this year's prizes, which were announced during the 7th European congress of Mathematics held in Berlin on July 18-22.

Working as a professor at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, she's one of only nine female recipients of the honorable prize since it began in 1992 and will receive a check for 5,000 euros.

Born in Tehran, Zahedi grew up without a father. When she was 10, her mother sent her to Sweden, on her own.

Zahedi pointed to her experiences in the country saying "I didn't have any friends and I didn't know any Swedish but math was a language I understood."

"In math class, I was able to communicate with my peers and I was able to make friends by solving problems with them," she added.

Zahedi is an expert in numerical analysis, a study of how to make computer simulations more efficient and accurate. She creates simulations of fluids that do not mix well, such as water, oil and gas.

Zahedi is one of 1,300 participants, and among the stars of European congress of Mathematics in Berlin. She believes that anyone can understand mathematics.

"We must go much further towards younger age groups and to show them how math is used in their real-world; I also believe that programming should be taught as a discipline in the school curriculum."

EMS Prize 2016

Born 1981 in Teheran (Iran)
Assistant Professor, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Sweden

"For her outstanding research regarding the development and analysis of numerical algorithms for partial differential equations with a focus on applications to problems with dynamically changing geometry."

Research Interests

Sara Zahedis research interests lie in the development and analysis of computational methods, in particular finite element methods, for solving partial differential equations on dynamic geometries. The main application she has in mind is multiphase flows. She is also interested in numerical methods for representing and evolving interfaces separating immiscible fluids.

Curriculum Vitae

  • 2014 Assistant Professor in Numerical Analysis, KTH, Stockholm (Swe)
  • 2011 Postdoctoral Position, Uppsala University (Swe)
  • 2011 PhD in Numerical Analysis, KTH, Stockholm (Swe)
  • 2006 Master of Science with a major in Mathematics, KTH (Swe)
  • 2006 Teaching Assistant, Dept. of Numerical Analysis, KTH (Swe)
  • 2003 Teaching Assistant, Stockholm University (Swe)

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