On Tuesday, one of the world’s most prestigious math prizes was awarded to a woman for the first time. Karen Uhlenbeck is the first female recipient of the Abel Prize in mathematics.
According to the New York Times, the prize was given because of “her work’s basic impact on analysis, geometry, and mathematical physics.” According to the Nobel Prize, it is awarded by the King of Norway to excellent mathematicians who have had a significant impact on their subject. It has a monetary award of around $700,000 in Norwegian kroner. The award has been given out since 2003, but every winner has been a man.
Dr. Uhlenbeck is well-known for her work in partial differential equations, gauge theory, and interconnected systems. According to the New York Times, she was a pioneer in the subject of “geometric analysis.” Among her most well-known contributions are her thoughts about predictive math, which were inspired by soap bubbles.
Sun-Yung “She performed things that nobody thought to do,” said Alice Chang, a Princeton University mathematician on the award committee, “and once she did them, she created the foundations of an area of mathematics.”
The New York Times reports that Dr. Uhlenbeck learnt of her remarkable feat by text message on Sunday morning and has yet to decide what to do with the $100,000 prize. She stated that she had not yet chosen what she would do with the money she had earned.
“When I went out of the church, I noticed Alice Chang had sent me a text message asking if I would take a call from Norway?”
When I arrived home, I contacted Norway to see what they had to say.