American Professor First Woman to Win Top International Math Prize

The King of Norway will present her with the award and $700,000 in Oslo this May.

math prize
An American woman has won one of the world's top math prizes (Getty Images)
Getty Images/Image Source

Mathematician and professor at the University of Texas, Karen Keskulla Uhlenbeck, has become the first woman in history to receive the Abel Prize, one of the most prestigious mathematics awards in the world.

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters announced in a statement on Tuesday that Uhlenbeck was chosen as the award’s newest winner “for her pioneering achievements in geometric partial differential equations, gauge theory and integrable systems, and for the fundamental impact of her work on analysis, geometry and mathematical physics.”

The King of Norway will present the award along with $700,000 to Uhlenbeck at an award ceremony in Oslo on May 21, The Hill reported.

The Norwegian academy credited Uhlenbeck with building a reputation for developing tools and methods in global analysis, which it said are now “in the toolbox of every geometer and analyst.”

“Uhlenbeck’s research has led to revolutionary advances at the intersection of mathematics and physics,” University of Texas’s College of Natural Sciences Dean Paul Goldbart said in a release. “Her pioneering insights have applications across a range of fascinating subjects, from string theory, which may help explain the nature of reality, to the geometry of space-time.”

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