Karen Uhlenbeck

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Karen Uhlenbeck
Uhlenbeck Karen 1982.jpg
Karen Uhlenbeck née Keskulla
Born 24 August 1942
Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Residence USA
Nationality American
Fields Mathematician
Institutions University of Texas at Austin
University of Chicago
University of Illinois at Chicago
Northwestern University
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Alma mater Brandeis University
University of Michigan
Doctoral advisor Richard Sheldon Palais
Known for Calculus of variations
Influences Shing-Tung Yau
Notable awards MacArthur Prize Fellowship
Noether Lecturer (1988)
National Medal of Science (2000)
Leroy P. Steele Prize (2007)

Karen Keskulla Uhlenbeck (born August 24, 1942 in Cleveland) is a professor and Sid W. Richardson Foundation Regents Chairholder in the Department of Mathematics at The University of Texas in Austin.[1][2][3]

Education and career

Uhlenbeck received her B.A. (1964) from the University of Michigan.[1][3] She began her graduate studies at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University, and married biophysicist Olke C. Uhlenbeck (the son of physicist George Uhlenbeck) in 1965. When her husband went to Harvard, she moved with him and restarted her studies at Brandeis University, where she earned a M.A. (1966) and Ph.D. (1968) from Brandeis University under the supervision of Richard Palais.[1][3] Her doctoral dissertation was titled The Calculus of Variations and Global Analysis.[4]

After temporary jobs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of California, Berkeley, and having difficulty finding a permanent position with her husband because of the anti-nepotism rules then in place, she took a faculty position at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in 1971. However, she disliked Urbana and ended up divorcing her husband and moving to the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1976. She moved again to the University of Chicago in 1983, and to the University of Texas as the Sid W. Richardson Foundation Regents Chairholder in 1988.[1][2][3]


She participates or has participated in research in the fields of geometric partial differential equations, the calculus of variations, gauge theory, topological quantum field theory, and integrable systems.[1][5]

Awards and honors

The many awards and honors won by Uhlenbeck include:

Selected publications

Research articles


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Karen Uhlenbeck", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 "Karen Uhlenbeck", Biographies of Women Mathematicians, Agnes Scott College<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Katterman, Lee (December 6, 1999), "Michigan Great Karen K. Uhlenbeck: Pioneer in mathematical analysis—and for women mathematicians", The University Record, University of Michigan, retrieved 2014-12-19<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Karen Uhlenbeck at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Karen Uhlenbeck", Profiles of Women in Mathematics: The Emmy Noether Lectures, Association for Women in Mathematics, retrieved 2014-12-19<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>.
  6. The President's National Medal of Science: Recipient Details, National Science Foundation, retrieved 13 December 2009<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. UT Austin mathematics professor wins National Medal of Science, Univ. of Texas, November 13, 2000, retrieved 2014-12-19<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>.
  8. Three UT Austin professors win prestigious Guggenheim Fellowships, Univ. of Texas, April 23, 2001, retrieved 2014-12-19<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>.
  9. List of Fellows, American Mathematical Society, retrieved 2013-08-28<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>.

External links