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Karen Uhlenbeck receives Abel Prize

The 2019 Abel Prize was awarded to former UIC professor Karen Uhlenbeck, 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". Uhlenbeck is the first woman to receive this prestigious award, after having already been awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 1983, a National Medal of Science in 2000, and the Leroy P. Steele Prize in 2007. Beyond her outstanding career as a mathematical researcher, she also co-founded the Park City Mathematics Institute (PCMI) and the Women and Mathematics Program at the Institute for Advanced Study.

Uhlenbeck received her PhD from Brandeis University in 1968 and was hired as an assistant professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1971. In 1977 she became an associate professor at UIC before moving to the the University of Chicago in 1983. She is currently a professor emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin, a visiting associate at the Institute for Advanced Study and a visiting senior research scholar at Princeton University.