Around the World: United States: The first woman to win the Abel Prize for outstanding work in mathematics.

      Retired mathematics professor at University of Texas at Austin, Karen Uhlenbeck, has recently won the 2019 Abel Prize Laureate. Through the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, the Academy of Science and Letters in Oslo, Norway, announced the winner and the monetary prize of $700,000. King Harald V of Norway will be presenting Uhlenbeck the prize on May 21 during a formal ceremony. This award is commonly compared to the Nobel Prize for outstanding works in mathematics and is decided based on a committee of experts in mathematics and science.

      This is a large step in the mathematics community as Uhlenbeck is the first woman to receive the award.

       “Many thanks to the Norwegian Academy and the institutions and people who have contributed to what has been so far a full and interesting life. I hope that my selection for this award demonstrates that a great variety of individuals are capable of contributing to mathematics at the highest level,” Uhlenbeck’s response to winning the award, Fox News said.

      The Abel Committee is honoring Uhlenbeck “for her pioneering achievements in geometric partial differential equations, gauge theory and integrable systems, and for the fundamental impact of her work on analysis, geometry and mathematical physics,” the Institute of Advanced Study said.

      Since 1979, Uhlenbeck has been a member of the Institute of Advanced Study School of Mathematics. Uhlenbeck founded the Park City Mathematics Institute and co-founded the Institute’s Women’s and Mathematics program (WAM). The WAM program has had over 1500 participants take part in collective research and mentoring to note the gender imbalance in the mathematics community.

      A graduate from University of Michigan and Ph.D. from Brandeis University, Uhlenbeck is living in New Jersey with her husband, and is currently a Visiting Senior Research Scholar at Princeton University.


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