Tech UPTechnologyFirst woman to win the highest award in mathematics

First woman to win the highest award in mathematics

An emeritus professor of mathematics at the University of Texas at Austin has received this year’s highest international award.

The Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters has named Karen Uhlenbeck its 2019 Abel Prize winner , “for her pioneering achievements in geometric partial differential equations, indicator theory and integrable systems, and for the fundamental impact of her work on analysis, geometry and mathematical physics ”.

In the words of Gregory L. Fenves of the University of Texas: “Karen Uhlenbeck was an inspiring teacher and dedicated mentor to thousands of UT students, motivating them to reach great heights in their academic and professional lives. The Abel Award is an honor. higher in mathematics, and one that Professor Uhlenbeck deserves.

Brilliant trajectory

For more than three decades at the University of Texas, Karen Uhlenbeck conducted research that revolutionized geometric analysis and mathematics in general, an achievement that has earned her the prestigious award.

Some of his most prominent work focused on Gauge’s theories, providing an analytical foundation for a number of concepts explored today by modern physics . His pioneering ideas have applications in a variety of topics, from string theory, which can help explain the nature of reality, to the geometry of space-time.

Karen Uhlenbeck giving a talk at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) ./ Andrea Kane.

Uhlenbeck is one of the best mathematics of her generation. In 1983 he received a MacArthur Fellowship (a prestigious ‘genius’ award). In 1986 she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and in 2000 she was awarded the National Medal of Science. In 2007 he received the Steele Award for a seminal contribution to research from the American Mathematical Society.

Since coming to the University of Texas Austin in 1987, following his retirement in 2014, Uhlenbeck has served as Chairman of the Regents of the Sid W. Richardson Foundation in Mathematics. Now, he has won the world’s most prestigious prize in mathematics, the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in this field.

The Abel Award recognizes achievement in mathematics at any stage in a mathematician’s career. It differs from the Fields Medal, another international award in mathematics, which is awarded only to mathematicians under the age of 40. The two awards are considered the highest international awards in mathematics , and over the past year the University of Texas mathematics program celebrated both. Former faculty member Alessio Figalli was among the 2018 Course Medalists in recognition of the work he did while on campus in Austin.

Since the Abel Prize was first awarded in 2003, another UT Austin faculty member has been among its recipients: Professor Emeritus John Tate in 2010.

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