Irving Reiner (1924-1986) | University of Illinois Archives

Name: Irving Reiner (1924-1986)

Historical Note:

Irma and Irving Reiner were Professors of Mathematics at the University of Illinois, where their research focused on quadratic forms, representation theories, matrices, and Algebraic K-Theory.

Irma Ruth Moses was born on March 3, 1922, to Marie Alderman and Michael Moses. Irma Moses earned both her Bachelor's degree and her Ph.D. in mathematics from Cornell University in 1946. While at Cornell, Irma Moses met Irving Reiner, a graduate student in mathematics. Irving Reiner was born on February 8, 1924, to Max and Molly Reiner. Irving graduated from Brooklyn College in 1944 and went on to earn his Ph.D. in mathematics from Cornell University in 1947. Irma Moses and Irving Reiner married in August 1948. After graduation, Irma Reiner taught mathematics at Temple University, while Irving Reiner went on to work for the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton.

In the late 1940s, the Reiners moved to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where they remained for the rest of their respective careers.  Both the Reiners were passionate educators and researchers. Irma Reiner published several articles on quadratic forms, matrix congruence, and Diophantine equations. Despite these contributions to the field, Irma Reiner went unpaid as a junior faculty member at the University, presumably because her husband was on the Mathematics Department's payroll. Irving Reiner wrote over 100 papers and several books during his career.  His most famous work, Representation Theory of Finite Groups and Associative Algebras was published in 1962 jointly with Charles W. Curtis.

Irving and Irma Reiner had two sons, David and Peter Reiner.  Irving Reiner died on October 28, 1986.  Irma continued to teach at the University of Illinois as a Professor Emeritus, and she tutored students in mathematics until her passing on April 4, 2014.

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