Her research is within the field of algebraic geometry. She took her doctorate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1976 and was appointed professor at the University of Oslo in 1987. She is a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. Since 2003 she has been a member of the executive committee of the International Mathematical Union. She was the chair of the Abel Committee from 2010/2011 to 2013/2014. In 2012 she became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.
- Henriksen, Petter, ed. (2007). "Ragni Piene". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 29 October 2009.
- "Gruppe 1: Matematiske fag" (in Norwegian). Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. Retrieved 29 October 2009.
- "The Abel Committee 2010/2011". Retrieved 4 January 2016.
- "The Abel Committee 2013/2014". Retrieved 4 January 2016.
- List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved 2013-05-05.
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