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Uhlenbeck Karen 1982 (cropped)
Uhlenbeck in 1982

Karen Keskulla Uhlenbeck (born August 24, 1942) is an American mathematician. She is a professor emeritus of mathematics at the University of Texas at Austin. At the moment, she is a visiting associate at the Institute for Advanced Study and a visiting senior research scholar at Princeton University. In 2000, she was awarded the National Medal of Science.

Uhlenbeck won the 2019 Abel Prize. She won it for her major work in geometric partial differential equations, gauge theory and integrable systems. Another reason she got the Abel Prize was for her key impact of her work on analysis, geometry and mathematical physics. She is the first woman to win the prize.

Uhlenbeck was born in Cleveland, Ohio. She is of Estonian ancestry. She is married to biochemist Olke C. Uhlenbeck.

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