The Shortest Path to the Abel Prize
The Abel Prize citation says that Uhlenbeck won for
A story in Quanta and another in Scientific American are among those with readable summaries of the general nature of this work. The point we are emphasizing is that this simple case of paths in the plane—and its abstraction via functionals that are ultimately founded on one variable —have a ready-made minimization scheme, thanks to Euler and Lagrange. Most in particular, Uhlenbeck working solo proved that these cases were immune to the “bubbling” issue—with the consequence as related in Quanta that
We’ve been happy to report that Uhlenbeck has won the prestigious Abel Prize.