NPR

U.S. Mathematician Becomes First Woman To Win Abel Prize, 'Math's Nobel'

"I find that I am bored with anything I understand," Karen Uhlenbeck once said. That sentiment is part of why she won what many call the Nobel of mathematics Tuesday.

"I find that I am bored with anything I understand," Karen Uhlenbeck once said - and that sense of curiosity is part of why she won the prestigious Abel Prize, from the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.

Uhlenbeck, an influential mathematician who was for decades a professor at the University of Texas at Austin and who has sought to encourage women to study mathematics, has become the first woman to win the Abel Prize — often called the Nobel Prize of math.

Uhlenbeck's complex and wide-ranging work includes analyzing

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR4 min read
At $2.1 Million, New Gene Therapy Is The Most Expensive Drug Ever
The Food and Drug Administration approved a new gene therapy for a rare but devastating genetic disorder. The drugmaker says the cost is worth it because it's a one-time treatment that saves lives.
NPR2 min readPolitics
Trump Orders An Additional 1,500 Troops To The Middle East
The Pentagon would not say where the troops would be sent, other than that they would not be heading to Iraq and Syria. Some of the forces have already arrived in the region.
NPR2 min read
'Two Wings: The Music Of Black America In Migration' Celebrates A Journey Millions Took
Singer Alicia Hall Moran and pianist Jason Moran mix original music works with 20th century spoken word to reflect on The Great Migration, when African Americans moved from the South to the North.