AUSTIN, Texas—Mathematics Professor Karen Uhlenbeck of The University of Texas at Austin received the 2007 Leroy P. Steele Prize for her seminal contribution to mathematics research from the American Mathematical Society.
The Steele Prize is one of the highest distinctions in mathematics and was awarded to Uhlenbeck on Jan. 6, at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in New Orleans.
Uhlenbeck received the prize for her foundational contributions in the analytic aspects of mathematical gauge theory.
Some of the applications of Uhlenbeck’s work are among the most important developments in 20th century mathematics and constitute revolutionary advances in geometry. Gauge fields originated in the study of particles in physics and have proven to be of central importance in topology and algebraic geometry. More recently, ideas growing out of her work have yielded new insights in symplectic and contact geometry.
Uhlenbeck is one of the premier mathematicians of her generation. Since 1988 she has held the Sid W. Richardson Foundation Regents Chair in Mathematics. In 1983 she received a MacArthur Fellowship, and in 2000 she was awarded the National Medal of Science. She is a co-founder of the Institute for Advance Study/Park City Mathematics Institute and the program for Women and Mathematics in Princeton.