Uhlenbeck, 76, is cited 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 American Mathematics Society states:
Uhlenbeck is a former MacArthur Fellow, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a recipient of the National Medal of Science (2000) and the Steele Prize for Seminal Contribution to Research (2007), and a member of the inaugural class of AMS Fellows. She is the first woman mathematician to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences (1986) and the second woman to give a plenary lecture at the International Congress of Mathematicians (1990—Emmy Noether was the first). In "The Abel Prize Laureate 2019," Uhlenbeck observes that she is a role model but "it’s hard, because what you really need to do is show students how imperfect people can be and still succeed. ... I may be a wonderful mathematician and famous because of it, but I’m also very human.” Uhlenbeck was the Sid W. Richardson Foundation Regents' Chair in Mathematics before retiring from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014, and is now a visiting senior research scholar at Princeton University and a visiting associate at the Institute for Advance Study. See more about her work in the March Notices article, "Karen Uhlenbeck and the Calculus of Variations," by Simon Donaldson, and on the Abel Prize website, which has the full prize citation, her biography, descriptions of her work, and a video of the announcement of the prize.
Congratulations to Professor Uhlenbeck!