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Karen Uhlenbeck, Ph.D

The mathematician Karen Uhlenbeck is the first woman to win the Abel Prize for math, (NYTimes, April 08, 2019). "She describes herself as a messy reader, and a messy thinker, and she is stylishly disheveled, with a preference for comfy, colorful clothing with pockets and Birkenstocks with socks." Listening to the accolades, she agreed that "from the perspective of my late seventies, I find myself as a young mathematician sort of impressive, too."

"She went on to note that, for lack of mathematical candidates, her role model had been the chef Julia Child. 'She knew how to pick the turkey up off the floor and serve it.' Dr. Uhlenbeck said."

Sometimes our own role models surprise us. They aren't always the obvious ones.

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