Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Abel Prize in Mathematics

Image result for soap bubbles
Environmental & Science Education
Mathematics Education
Edward Hessler

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (Oslo) announced that Professor Karen Kesculla Uhlenbeck,  professor emerita of mathematics at the University of Texas-Austin has been awarded the Abel Prize.

The award is the most prestigious in mathematics and is regarded as the mathematics equivalent of the Nobel Prize. The award includes $704,000 (U. S.).

The press release from the University of Texas describes her career and her many achievements as well as service to the mathematics community.

How soap bubbles shape themselves have inspired considerable work in physics and mathematics. The CNN report notes their contribution or how Dr. Uhlenbeck used them in her research. One of Uhlenbeck's most famous contributions was her theories of predictive mathematics inspired by soap bubbles. The thin, curved surface area of a soap bubble is an example of a "minimal surface," a surface that forms itself into a shape that takes up the least amount of area. Examining how these surfaces behave can help researchers better understand a wide amount of phenomena across a wide array of scientific studies.

Professor Uhlenbeck is the second faculty member at the University of Texas to receive the award. Emeritus Professor John Tate received the award in 2010.

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