Karen Keskulla Uhlenbeck. Credit: Andrea Kane IAS
Congratulations to Dr. Karen Uhlenbeck for winning the prestigious Abel prize for math, awarded to her on March 18, 2019. She is the first woman to win this prize.
The Abel Prize is a Norwegian prize awarded annually by the King of Norway to one or more outstanding mathematicians. It is directly modeled after the Nobel Prizes and comes with a monetary award of 6 million Norwegian Kroner (or $700,000).
talkSTEM is excited to have had the opportunity to have a dialogue with Dr. Uhlenbeck very recently. Here are some of her perspectives that she shared with us:
“The question of who loves and studied mathematics is greatly influenced by societal attitudes….I enjoy mathematics in the same way I enjoy classical music and climbing mountains.”
When asked about any perspectives on improving school-based teaching of mathematics, Dr Uhlenback replied, “Things have changed since I was a student, and I am sure you are even now trying to change the attitudes of parents and students alike. I do not know how to do this. Paying teachers more would be my first step.”
We are thrilled to offer our heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Uhlenbeck and to hope that societal attitudes will influence more young people to love to learn and to study what they love as she has done. We also hope that more young people can enjoy mathematics just as they enjoy music and climbing mountains – as simple as that! Dr. Uhlenbeck inspires us to do what we love and to find joy in learning.