Scope and Content of Collection
Title: John Miles Papers
Identifier/Call Number: MSS 453
Mandeville Special Collections Library
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, California, 92093-0175
Language of Material:
4.2 Linear feet
(11 archives boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1943 - 1998
Papers of John Miles, fluid mechanics engineer, geophysicist, and educator from 1964-2003. Miles is known for research of
wave propagation and generation, hydrodynamic stability, and fluid dynamics. The papers include over three hundred published
scientific articles, fluid mechanics reports, and research files. Additionally, the papers include correspondence, grant proposals,
UCLA teaching materials, and biographical materials.
Miles, John, 1920-2008
Scope and Content of Collection
The papers of John Miles illustrate his academic and scientific career in the field of fluid dynamics and engineering. The
majority of the materials are published reprints dating from 1943-1998. The papers also contain correspondence, reports, subject
based research and grant proposals, UCLA teaching materials, biographical materials. The papers are arranged in six series:
1) CORRESPONDENCE, 2) WRITINGS BY MILES, 3) RESEARCH, 4) UCLA TEACHING MATERIALS, 5) BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS, and 6) UC & UCSD
SERIES 1: CORRESPONDENCE
The CORRESPONDENCE series contains correspondence, arranged alphabetically, between Miles and colleagues and various persons
in the scientific community.
SERIES 2: WRITINGS BY MILES
The WRITINGS series includes four subseries: A) Numbered Reprints, B) Unnumbered Writings, C) Reports, and D) Lectures.
A) The Numbered Reprints subseries includes numerically arranged reprints dating from 1943-1998.
B) The Unnumbered Reprints subseries contains both published and unpublished manuscripts and reprints not listed with the
numbered reprints. The subseries is arranged alphabetically by title.
C) The Reports are technical publications authored by Miles beginning with his tenure at University of California, Los Angeles,
through 1964. The reports are project analyses for private contract research Miles conducted for aeromechanics industries
including Ramo-Wooldrige Corporation, Space Technologies Laboratories, and Northrop Aircraft, Inc. They are arranged by date.
D) The Lectures subseries contains typescripts of lectures dated 1947-1969 and are arranged chronologically.
SERIES 3: RESEARCH
The RESEARCH series is arranged in two subseries: A) Subject Files and B) Grants.
A) The Subject Files, arranged alphabetically, includes source material related to Miles' research. The papers contain research
notes, calculations, and data.
B) The Grants files represent the proposals for the National Science Foundation grant for the Support of Atmospheric Research
Laboratory in Los Angeles and San Diego. Miles participated as a faculty associate at the La Jolla laboratories of the Institute
of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, from 1964 to 1969. The materials are arranged chronologically and contain correspondence
SERIES 4: UCLA TEACHING MATERIALS
In 1945, Miles was an assistant professor at the University of California, Los Angeles in the department of engineering and
in the physics department in 1947, teaching courses in engineering dynamics and fluid mechanics. The papers contain course
material for engineering dynamics and linear systems classes including exams, notes, course outlines, and reports.
SERIES 5: BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS
The BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS series, arranged alphabetically, includes conference materials, Guggenheim fellowship correspondence,
professional dossiers, and a state of California professional engineering certificate.
SERIES 6: UC & UCSD SUBJECT FILES
The final series, UC & UCSD SUBJECT FILES, contains materials related to University history. Miles' original file titles were
retained and the files are arranged alphabetically by these titles. One file relates to the loyalty oath controversy, which
took place across the University of California system. Other files relate to UCSD specifically, including detailing the history
of the Institute for Nonlinear Studies and the Institute of Geophysics. While several subject files include a wide variety
of materials - from memos and correspondence to newspapers clippings - the folder labeled "Student demonstrations" contains
only two memos and one faculty statement about demonstrations at UCSD.
John Wilder Miles was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on December 1, 1920. After graduating from high school in Oakland, CA, Miles
entered Cal Tech and went on to receive a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1942, a master's degree in electrical
and aeronautical engineering in 1943, and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 1944.
During the World War II, he held brief positions at General Electric, Lockheed Aircraft, and the MIT Radiation Laboratory.
His work at MIT supported research used for radar detection of German U-Boats off the coast of England. In 1945, Miles accepted
a teaching position with the University of California, Los Angeles, in the geophysics and engineering departments until 1964.
During this time, he became a consultant to several aeromechanics companies and institutions including the United States Air
Force, Space Technology Laboratories, and Northrop Aircraft, Incorporated. In 1962, he was a visiting professor of applied
mathematics at the Australian National University, Institute of Advanced Studies.
One of the prominent projects Miles co-investigated was a grant project funded by the National Science Foundation. The University
of California established the primary branches of the laboratory at the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics (IGPP)
in Los Angeles and La Jolla in 1960. Miles, along with Walter Munk, George MacDonald, and George Backus, concentrated on geophysical
fluid dynamics in both the ocean and the atmosphere.
In 1964, Miles moved to the newly formed UCSD campus in La Jolla, taking a position as professor of applied mechanics and
geophysics, where he was also chairman of the Academic Senate, 1977-1978. He also became the associate editor of the
Journal of Fluid Mechanics in 1964, providing editorial and peer review scholarship. He was appointed vice chancellor of academic affairs, under Chancellor
Richard Atkinson from 1980-1983.
Miles was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was awarded
a Guggenheim fellowship in 1958-1959, a Fulbright lectureship from the University of Australia in 1951, and the Timoshenko
Medal of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering in 1982.
In 2003, Miles retired as professor emeritus from UCSD. He passed away in October, 2008.
Of Fluid Mechanics and Related Matters: The Proceedings of a Symposium Honoring John Miles on His Seventieth Birthday, Scripps
Institution of Oceanography, December 1, 1990.
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
John Miles Papers, MSS 453. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.
COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE: ALLOW ONE WEEK FOR RETRIEVAL OF MATERIALS.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
University of California, San Diego -- Faculty -- Archives
University of California, San Diego. Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics.