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Karen Uhlenbeck: First woman to win Abel Prize for maths

Date: 20 March 2019 Tags: Honours & Awards

Renowned American mathematician Karen Uhlenbeck (76) became first women to be awarded prestigious Abel Prize 2019. She was awarded for her fundamental work in geometric analysis and gauge theory, which has dramatically changed mathematical landscape.

Contribution to mathematics

Her mathematics theories have revolutionised understanding of minimal surfaces, such as those formed by soap bubbles, and more general minimisation problems in higher dimensions.

She has developed tools and methods in global analysis, which are now in toolbox of every geometer and analyst. She is also strong advocate for gender equality in science and mathematics.

Abel Prize

  • It is awarded annually on outstanding mathematicians by by Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters,
  • It was established in 2001 by Government of Norway. It is named after Niels Henrik Abel, 19th century Norwegian mathematician.
  • It is one of world’s top prizes in mathematics and is often considered as maths equivalent of Nobel Prize, which has no prize for mathematics.
  • It carries monetary award of 6 million Norwegian kroner (NOK) (around $7,03,000).
  • Indian-American mathematician R. Srinivasa Varadhan had won this award in 2007 for creating unified theory of large deviation and for his contributions to probability theory.