In April it was announced that the mathematician Karen Uhlenbeck was being awarded the Abel Prize in Mathematics ** **

“for her pioneering achievements in geometric partial differential equations, gauge theory and integrable systems, and for the fundamental impact of her work on analysis, geometry and mathematical physics.”

The Abel Prize (pronounced “Ah-bell” rather than “Able”) is considered equivalent to the Nobel Prize, as there is no Nobel Prize in Mathematics. It is awarded by the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and comes with all of the same prestige as the Nobel, with a ceremony, state banquet etc etc.

I was delighted by the news, as I had studied for a doctorate in mathematics under Karen’s supervision in UT Austin from 1991 to 1997, and we have stayed in touch down through the years. In fact, just last December I submitted a mathematics paper to a special issue of a journal in her honour. The paper was

Dedicated to Karen Uhlenbeck on the occasion of her 75th birthday, in appreciation of her generous support during the years of cigar smuggling, bicycle riots and Zapatismo.

To make matters even more exciting, Karen has invited me to the Award Ceremony and related events in Oslo on May 20th to 23rd. That is this coming week and so over the next few days I will post some of my experiences in Oslo at the events. It is a great honour and should be fun!