Karen Uhlenbeck, mathematician awarded the 2019 Abel Prize

Mathematician Karen Uhlenbeck. Ed. Andrea Kane/Institute for Advanced Study

The American mathematician Karen Uhlenbeck has awarded the "studies carried out in partial geometric differential equations" of 2019, such as the contributions made in Gauger's theory and in integrable systems, as pointed out by the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters. Since its distribution began in 2003, Uhlenbeck is the first woman to receive the Abel Award.

He has been considered the creator of modern geometric analysis. According to the Academy, the incorporation of its vision has meant the most spectacular mathematical advances of the last 40 years. Among others, he has made important discoveries on the frontier between mathematics and physics, and from the Academy the foundations have been laid for the creation of current geometric models in both fields.

Uhlenbeck is emeritus professor at the University of Texas and researcher at Princeton University and the Institute for Advanced Studies. He has received numerous awards, including the United States Medal of Science in 2000. Thomas Chen, his colleague at the University of Texas, praised Uhlenbeck's generosity: “His attitude of support and mentoring with young mathematicians has been particularly well known.”

He also highlighted the situation of mathematics. 30 years ago he mentioned that he did not know that any mathematics had an easy life. He recognized this, knowing that for many women it was possible to inspect: “Everyone knows that a person will be a success if he is smart, fun, beautiful and elegant. But with all your imperfections you can also succeed. I needed many years to realize.”

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