Jeremy Quastel

Photo of Professor Jeremy Quastel

Jeremy Quastel

Department of Mathematics

Faculty of Arts and Science

Professor Quastel grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia and received his undergraduate degree from McGill. He obtained his Ph.D. from New York University in 1990 under the supervision of S. Varadhan. His thesis was a tour-de-force in how to derive differential equations from discrete interacting particle systems. After postdoctoral work at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, Berkeley, he spent six years at the University of California, Davis. In early breakthrough results, Quastel derived the incompressible Navier-Stokes equation from a class of interacting particle systems, derived equations for the behaviour of the internal diffusion-limited-aggregation model. 

Professor Jeremy Quastel is widely recognized as one of the top probabilists in the world. He has made major advances in the fields of hydrodynamic theory, stochastic partial differential equations, and integrable probability. 

Professor Quastel is particularly known for a series of ground-breaking works during his years at 

the University of Toronto. In 2010, he was invited to speak at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Hyderabad, India, about his results on a model of heat flow in random media which is known as the Kardar-Parisi-Zhang (KPZ) equation. The KPZ equation is a central object in modern probability related to interacting systems from biology, heat flow in inhomogeneous media, polymers, and random plane geometry. In a series of spectacular results, Professor Quastel’s work completely reformed modern probability related to the KPZ equation. As a result, the mathematics department is now a leading research centre in the area of stochastic partial differential equations. In integrable probability, Professor Quastel established a new class of distributions.  

Some of these discoveries occurred during his service as chair of the Department of Mathematics from 2017 to 2021. As chair, he reformed the undergraduate teaching program, expanding the hiring of women and underrepresented minorities, as well as establishing the department as a world-class destination for applied mathematics.  

Professor Quastel is a sought-after speaker around the world. He has taught in the most prestigious summer schools, including the St. Flour Probability Summer School in France (2012) and the Park City Mathematics Institute of Princeton (2017). His postdocs and graduate students have taken prestigious jobs around the world, including at the University of Edinburgh, at Columbia University, and at the University of Cambridge. 

For the profound impact of his work, Quastel received the Killam Research Fellowship (2013). He has been recognized as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2016). He has also received the CRM-Fields-Pims Prize (2018), and the Jeffrey-Williams Prize (2019). In 2021, recognizing his decades of outstanding research contributions, a jury of his international peers elected him to the Fellowship of the Royal Society, UK.