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First Woman to Win the “Nobel of Math”

First Woman to Win the “Nobel of Math”

This week, King Harald V of Norway presented mathematics' top international award—the 2019 Abel Prize—to Karen Uhlenbeck at a ceremony in Oslo, Norway.

Uhlenbeck is a professor emerita at the University of Texas at Austin. Her work has been described as some of the most important in 20th century mathematics, constituting revolutionary advances in geometry. Perhaps even more importantly, she has also worked for decades to mentor and support younger female mathematicians.

In an interview with a New Yorker reporter, she talked about the sexism she faced as a young female mathematician in the 1960s.

"I think up until that time I had seen mathematics as a very bookish thing and that what went on in the mathematical community had nothing to do with the life out there on the streets, and this is not true."

She co-founded programs at both Princeton University and UT Austin, including the Saturday Morning Math Group, the Distinguished Women in Mathematics Lecture Series, the Park City Mathematics Institute and the Women and Mathematics program at the Institute for Advanced Study, designed to inspire and support young people in mathematics.

Below is a short film the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters created about her and played at the Abel Award ceremony.

Read more about her research and mentorship:

In Bubbles, She Sees a Mathematical Universe, New York Times

Mathematics, Mountain Climbing, and Being a Mentor to Women in a Male-Dominated Field, Chronicle of Higher Education

The "Fantastic" Feeling of a Breakthrough: Q&A with Math Prize Winner Karen Uhlenbeck, Scientific American

Meet Karen Uhlenbeck, the First Woman to Ever Win the 'Nobel Prize of Math', Glamour

In the know: Women in the news 3/18 - 3/22, NBC News

Karen Uhlenbeck won the 'Nobel of math'—but women are still under-represented in the field, Popular Science

Karen Uhlenbeck Becomes First Woman To Win Abel Prize For Mathematics, Forbes

For First Time Ever, a Woman Wins the Abel, the 'Nobel Prize' for Mathematics, Fortune

U.S. Mathematician Is The First Woman To Win Abel Prize, NPR's Morning Edition

Karen Uhlenbeck Is the First Woman to Win Math's Top Prize, Smithsonian

US professor is first woman to be awarded math's top prize, Associated Press

Bubble maths researcher wins top award, BBC News

U.S. Scholar Becomes First Woman to Win Abel Mathematics Prize, Bloomberg

A woman just won the prize known as "math's Nobel" — for the first time ever, CBS News

For the first time, mathematics' most prestigious prize has been awarded to a woman, Karen Uhlenbeck, CNN

Soap Bubble Theorist Is the First Woman to Win the 'Nobel Prize' of Mathematics, Gizmodo

U.S. Professor Becomes First Woman To Be Awarded Math's Top Prize, Huffington Post

Karen Uhlenbeck, Uniter of Geometry and Analysis, Wins Abel Prize, Quanta Magazine

Soap-bubble pioneer is first woman to win prestigious maths prize, Nature

Karen Uhlenbeck Is First Woman to Receive Abel Prize in Mathematics, New York Times

U.S. Mathematician Becomes First Woman To Win Abel Prize, 'Math's Nobel', NPR

Founder of geometric analysis honored with Abel Prize, Science
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Thursday, 20 June 2019

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