Expert Details

Reinhard Illner

Contact Information

Reinhard Illner
Languages: English, German, French
Mathematics & Statistics

Research Information

Research Description

- Nonequilibrium statistical mechanics
- Neural networks theory
- Kinetic theory of gases
- Partial differential equations

Expertise Profile

Centuries ago, people asked how they might use the mathematical tools they were developing to understand the world around them.

Dr. Reinhard Illner is proud to continue on in this tradition.

He began his studies as a pure mathematician, fascinated with the rigour and self-consistency of mathematics. When he switched to research, he was drawn to how mathematics could be applied in the real world.

Now Dr. Illner's research focuses on mathematical physics, specifically kinetic theory and kinetic models. Kinetic theory is essentially the mathematics of many interacting particles, like billiard balls on a table or molecules in the high atmosphere.

Applications of his work range from understanding the behaviour of bird flocks to mediating traffic jams to simulating the re-entry of a spacecraft into our atmosphere.

His claim to fame came with a paper he published on the kinetic theory of dilute gases in the 1980s. That paper appeared in a prestigious journal and has since evolved into a book, The Mathematical Theory of Dilute Gases, which has become the standard reference on the subject.

Dr. Illner is known in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics as a bit of a storyteller. To motivate his students to learn, he uses stories and jokes to explain why he himself finds a problem interesting.

In his teaching and his research, Dr. Illner's goal is to have an impact on the next generation of mathematicians and on the world around him.

Related Links

Dr. Illner's Faces of UVic Research video:

Research Keywords

International Involvement

Countries lived/worked in

Germany, France, Italy, U.S.A.