Karen Uhlenbeck has won the 2019 Abel Prize
March 19, 2019 9:03 PM   Subscribe

Karen Uhlenbeck has won the 2019 Abel Prize (Quanta article). Uhlenbeck is the first woman to win the prize since its creation in 2003. Awarded annually by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, the Abel prize is one of the most prestigious prizes in mathematics.

posted by louigi (7 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
posted by medusa at 10:17 PM on March 19, 2019

First Reaction: No woman won the prize till now? Damn it, academics, get your shit together.
Second Reaction: Oh wait, it's only been around since 2003, so she's just the 16th recipient. Hey that's pretty good! Well done academics.
Third Reaction: Oh my god, how bad is the sexism is academia that a one out of 16 ratio looks good to me? Fuuuuuuuuu..................

In short, good for her!, but damn it academics, we gotta do better.
posted by oddman at 4:55 AM on March 20, 2019 [3 favorites]

From the prize citation:
“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.”
Gender inequality is certainly worth noting, but let's also give proper billing to the work that is being recognised.
posted by swr at 5:16 AM on March 20, 2019 [6 favorites]

Keep in mind that women are underrepresented in math by a decent factor (only 15% of TT positions held by women in 2016, of course an even lower portion of senior faculty are women), so even fair representation in the awarding of the prize would not look like 8 of 16, more like 1-2 of 16. So I’m gonna say in this case it’s likely that the awardment is pretty fair in terms of gender bias, and it’s the underlying group that is so skewed toward men. Still a problem ofc, just not necessarily with the prize itself.
posted by SaltySalticid at 5:18 AM on March 20, 2019 [4 favorites]

I took a class from her back in the day. I remember enjoying it a lot, but it's been such a long time I don't even remember what class exactly it was. Yay Dr. Uhlenbeck!
posted by kmz at 10:13 AM on March 20, 2019 [2 favorites]

In Bubbles, She Sees a Mathematical Universe - "For Karen Uhlenbeck, winner of the Abel Prize for math, a whimsical phenomenon offers a window onto higher dimensions."
posted by kliuless at 11:24 PM on April 10, 2019

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