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From the Department of Mathematics

Karen Uhlenbeck receives 2019 Abel Prize

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters announced that Karen Uhlenbeck is the recipient of the 2019 Abel Prize, a distinction comparable to the Nobel Prize.


Karen was the first Richardson Chair holder appointed to our department, in 1987.
In 2014, she received Emerita status, and currently resides in Princeton, NJ, where she holds
visiting positions at Princeton University and at IAS.

The statement from our department, cited by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, states (many thanks to Dan Freed for helping to prepare it):

At the University of Texas at Austin and the Department of Mathematics, we are delighted and tremendously proud of Karen Uhlenbeck, recipient of the 2019 Abel Prize. Karen was appointed as the first Sid W. Richardson Foundation Regent's Chairs in Mathematics in 1987. As a maverick mathematician, she regularly pursues new directions of research. At UT Austin, she transformed the fabric of the department with her broad view of mathematics and beyond, creating a vibrant, diverse geometry group. Her insatiable curiosity fuels both her deep vision in mathematics and wisdom in the human sphere, which was evident in her legendary generosity and attention to mentorship, especially benefiting young mathematicians: graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and junior faculty members alike. She was one of the founders of the IAS/Park City Mathematics Institute, which inspired outreach activities at UT Austin, including one of the first Math Circles in the country, and her leadership made possible the Women and Mathematics program at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. It is immensely fitting that Karen receives the Abel Prize for her eminent research accomplishments. We congratulate Karen and express our gratitude for her 25 years at UT Austin, which left a legacy that we are celebrating today and which will live on for a long time.

On Nonlinear PDEs and their Applications

A conference in honor of the 70th birthday of Prof. Luis A. Caffarelli, March 1-2, 2019


Ward Recognized at Computational Science and Engineering Conference

RachelWardAssociate professor Rachel Ward is among 17 distinguished applied mathematicians selected for recognition at the 2019 SIAM Conference on Computational Science and Engineering (CSE19). Her selection reflects "exemplary research, significant contributions, and outstanding service to the applied mathematics and computational science communities," according to SIAM News. "SIAM congratulates and thanks these individuals for their hard work and contributions, which strengthen and enhance the landscape of applied mathematics and computational science worldwide."

Her invited lecture will be livestreamed from the conference Feb. 27 at 1 p.m. PT/3 p.m. CT.


Now accepting applications for the Spring 2019 Directed Reading Program

The DRP is a student organization which pairs undergraduate students with graduate student mentors to undertake reading projects in any area of mathematics. There are mentors and projects available for students with any math background, so this is a great opportunity for math majors and any students who want a more in-depth, personalized look at the mathematical world. Applications due February 1st through ma.utexas.edu/users/drp.

Alessio Figalli wins Fields Medal

Alessio Figalli wins a Fields Medal at the ICM 2018 in Rio de Janeiro. Now at ETH Zurich, he was a professor at the Department of Mathematics at UT Austin from 2009 until 2016. We congratulate Alessio for this incredible honor.

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UT Actuarial to receive the 2018 CAS University Award

The University of Texas at Austin has been selected as a recipient of the 2018 CAS University Award by the Casualty Actuarial Society. Congratulations to the members of our Actuarial Studies Program for this great distinction, and especially to Alisa Havens Walch for her extraordinary service. Alisa will represent our program at the CAS annual meeting in Las Vegas.

Luis Caffarelli receives 2018 Shaw Prize in Mathematics

The Shaw Foundation has announced that the 2018 Laureate of the Shaw Prize in the Mathematical Sciences is Luis Caffarelli.

This is one of the world's most highly distinguished prizes for mathematics. Awarded by the Hong Kong-based Shaw Foundation, the Shaw Prize honors recent breakthroughs by researchers in the fields of mathematics, astronomy, and life science and medicine.

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Israel and Ward awarded a MURI Grant

Arie Israel and Rachel Ward have been awarded a highly competitive Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) grant from the Department of Defense, as co-PIs in a research team that includes members from the Cockrell School of Engineering, Princeton University, and Northwestern University.
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Joe Neeman awarded a Sloan Fellowship

The Sloan Foundation today announced that Joe Neeman has been awarded a 2018 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship. The complete list of recipients is available at

Award to Luis Caffarelli

The Royal Spanish Mathematical Society and the Argentine Mathematical Union have decided to award the Centennial Award for the arrival in Argentina of Rey Pastor to Luis Caffarelli, of the University of Austin in Texas, in recognition of his career and his activity in fostering relations between Argentina and Spain.

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Bill Wolesenski will receive a President's Associates Teaching Excellence Award

We congratulate Bill for this wonderful distinction in recognition of his outstanding teaching and contributions to CNS.

Uri Treisman named fellow of AAAS

Uri Treisman has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He received this honor for distinguished contributions to practices, tools and policies that increase equity and excellence in mathematics learning, and for leadership to expand engagement in this goal.

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Lewis Bowen to Receive 2017 Brin Prize

Professor Lewis Bowen will receive the 2017 Brin Prize in Dynamical Systems. The prize is awarded every two years to mathematicians who have made outstanding advances in the field of dynamical systems and are within 14 years of their PhD.

Work of Alexis Vasseur and Cheng Yu to be Presented at the Seminaire Bourbaki in IHP, Paris

The Sèminaire Nicolas Bourbaki (Bourbaki Seminar) is a series of seminars (in fact public lectures with printed notes distributed) that has been held in Paris since 1948. It is one of the major institutions of contemporary mathematics, and a barometer of mathematical achievement, fashion, and reputation. Read More ...

James Carter Smith won the Marjorie Morales Award for Excellence in Mathematics Research

James "Carter" Smith, an undergraduate in mathematics, won the Marjorie Morales Award for Excellence in Mathematics Research. He participated the Undergraduate Research Forum 2017 with a project titled "Determining a Number Through its Sum of Divisors." Carter's graduate mentor on the project was Alessandro Rezende de Macedo and Dr. Mark Daniels was project advisor. 

Invited talks at ICM 2018

Lewis Bowen, Sean Keel, and Alan Reid have been invited to present 45 min talks at the International Congress of Mathematicians 2018 in Rio de Janeiro. We congratulate them for this high distinction.

CWUR ranks "interdisciplinary applications of math" at UT #1 in the world

The Center of World University Rankings (CWUR) has released their new worldwide rankings today. It rates UT Austin globally Rank 1 in Interdisciplinary Applications of Mathematics, and Rank 5 in Applied Mathematics. This is a great distinction for both the Department of Mathematics and ICES. 
See the complete list

Taillefumier has been awarded a Sloan Fellowship

Thibaud TaillefumierThe Sloan Foundation today announced that Thibaud Taillefumier has been awarded a 2017 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship. The complete list of recipients is available here.

Milicia Cudina to receive John Durbin Teaching Award

Milicia Cudina has been selected to receive the 2017 John Durbin Teaching award. This is a distinguished recognition of Milicia's service to the Actuarial Program, in particular her development and teaching of M339D and M339W.

Mathematics is Ranked No. 12 in World by U.S. News

U.S. News and World Report ranked UT Mathematics No. 12 in the world. UT Austin is ranked No. 30 in the world in its latest ranking of Best Global Universities.

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