Shootout to all the women! In the first ever of its kind, an American professor has become the first woman to be awarded the Abel Prize, one of the world’s most prestigious international mathematics awards, seen by many as the Nobel Prize in mathematics. On Tuesday, the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters announced that Karen Keskulla Uhlenbeck of the University of Texas at Austin was this year’s winner of the prize. The award was worth $6 million Norwegian kroner.
The jury cited Keskulla Uhlenbeck’s “fundamental work in geometric analysis and gauge theory which has dramatically changed the mathematical landscape”. It also praised her as “a strong advocate for gender equality in science and mathematics”.
The prize was first awarded in 2003 to honor the 19th-century Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel.