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American mathematician Karen Uhlenbeck awarded with Abel Prize

American mathematician Karen Uhlenbeck awarded with Abel Prize

American mathematician Karen Uhlenbeck won the Abel Prize, one of the top international honours in the subject.

It is important not only as recognition of her work but also as a statement in a field traditionally been associated with men.

Her Work: Minimal Surfaces

Her breakthrough work, with mathematician Jonathan Sacks, was on “minimal surfaces”, such as the spherical surface taken by a soap bubble.

This becomes complicated when additional dimensions are added, such as soap film forming around a wire; Uhlenbeck’s work covered minimisation problems in higher dimensions.

Uhlenbeck, 76, is acclaimed for her work with partial differential equations, which she has used to solve problems in geometry and topology.

Her diverse fields include gauge theory, which has applications in particle physics and general relativity.

Abel Prize

The Abel Prize, first awarded in 2003, includes an award of 6 million kroner (about $700,000).

It is named after Swedish mathematician Niels Henrik Abel (1802-29).

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