Interview with Maryam Mirzakhani, the brilliant Iranian mathematician who was the first woman to win the Fields Medal
What advice would you give lay persons who would like to know more about mathematics—what it is, what its role in our society has been and so on? What should they read? How should they proceed?
This is a difficult question. I don’t think that everyone should become a mathematician, but I do believe that many students don’t give mathematics a real chance. I did poorly in math for a couple of years in middle school; I was just not interested in thinking about it. I can see that without being excited mathematics can look pointless and cold. The beauty of mathematics only shows itself to more patient followers.
A world of nonexistence exists in everyone’s mind.