elaborate stories

"Today, Mirzakhani .. still writes elaborate stories in her mind. The high ambitions haven’t changed, but the protagonists have: They are hyperbolic surfaces, moduli spaces and dynamical systems. In a way, she said, mathematics research feels like writing a novel. “There are different characters, and you are getting to know them better,” she said. “Things evolve, and then you look back at a character, and it’s completely different from your first impression.” The Iranian mathematician follows her characters wherever they take her ..."
Quanta Magazine

Maryam Mirzakhani just won a Fields medal.

added later: The Austrian mathematician Martin Hairer is another winner. But he did not get the medal for his audio editing software, rather for his work on stochastic PDEs.
Terry Tao has a blog post about all the 2014 medallists.

added even later: It is quite interesting what Cathy O'Neil has to say about this.