Shaping the Curve: Maryam Mirzakhani’s Influence on the Field of Mathematics

Brought to you by Hopkins at Home and the Center for Talented Youth

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REGISTER BELOW to tune in on Tuesday, March 2 at 7-8:30 p.m. ET


Secrets of the Surface PosterIn partnership with the Center for Talented Youth, join us to enjoy a free screening of the film, Secrets of the Surface: The Mathematical Vision of Maryam Mirzakhani, directed by George CsicseryFilmed in Canada, Iran, and the United States, this hour-long documentary examines the life and mathematical work of Maryam Mirzakhani, an Iranian immigrant to the United States who became a superstar in her field. In 2014, she was both the first woman and the first Iranian to be honored by mathematics’ highest prize, the Fields Medal. Mirzakhani’s contributions are explained in the film by leading mathematicians and illustrated by animated sequences. Her mathematical colleagues from around the world, as well as former teachers, classmates, and students in Iran today, convey the deep impact of her achievements. The path of her education, success on Iran’s Math Olympiad team, and her brilliant work, make Mirzakhani an ideal role model for girls looking toward careers in science and mathematics.



Secrets of the Surface - official trailer 2020 from Zala Films on Vimeo.


Following the screening, you are invited to join a conversation with CTY's Senior Program Manager for math, Anjula Batra, the film Director, George Paul Csicsery, and Johns Hopkins 2020 President's Frontier Award winner, Emily Riehl. They will discuss the importance of Mirzakhani’s contributions to her field, the significance of her award, and the ways in which women are making their mark in the field of mathematics today.

This livestream has been stamped by Common Question. Find out more here


Headshot of Anjula BatraAnjula Batra is the Senior Program Manager for Math at the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. With over 20 years experience in education and e-learning, Anjula brings both the experience and the passion for helping faculty and students succeed, a wealth of experience from business, technology, and education, and work collaboratively as a leader. At Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, she leads a team to deploy online mathematics courses from third grade to fourth year college levels, to over 7000 students annually. Their work ranges from detailed operational issues, curriculum planning and development, instructional design, assessment planning, research, and responding quickly to market and fiscal changes in these new and unprecedented times

Headshot of George CsicseryGeorge Paul Csicserya writer and independent filmmaker since 1968, has directed 35 films, many about the lives and work of mathematicians. His best known documentaries are N is a Number: a Portrait of Paul Erdös (1993), Julia Robinson and Hilbert’s Tenth Problem (2008), Hard Problems (2008), Hungry for Monsters (2004), Where the Heart Roams (1987), Counting from Infinity (2015), Navajo Math Circles (2016), and now Secrets of the Surface (2020). In 2009 Csicsery received the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics (JPBM) Communications Award for bringing mathematics to nonmathematical audiences.

Headshot of Emily RiehlEmily Riehl, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics at working on a variety of topics in category theory related to homotopy theory. Riehl received her PhD in 2011 from the University of Chicago and spent four years as an NSF and Benjamin Peirce Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University before joining JHU in 2015. She was promoted to associate professor in 2019. She has been recognized through prestigious awards, residencies, and invited lectures; mentored several graduate students and postdocs; and won awards for her undergraduate teaching. Riehl has published more than two dozen journal articles and three books, including an introductory book on category theory and a book that prepares graduate students for research.

 Event Date
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Start Time: 7:00pm
End Time: 8:30pm


Via Livestream
Baltimore, MD 21218

Hopkins at Home

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