Biographical Sketch

William H. Miller was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi, in 1941, and grew up in Jackson. He received a B.S. in Chemistry from Georgia Tech (1963) and a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from Harvard (1967). During 1967-69 he was a Junior Fellow in Harvard's Society of Fellows, the first year of which was spent as a NATO postdoctoral fellow at the Physikalisches Institute of Freiburg University (Germany). He joined the chemistry department of the University of California, Berkeley, in 1969 and has been Professor since 1974, serving as Department Chairman from 1989 to 1993 and becoming the Kenneth S. Pitzer Distinguished Professor in 1999.

Professor Miller's research has dealt with essentially all aspects of molecular collision theory and chemical reaction dynamics. The more significant of his contributions include a comprehensive semiclassical scattering theory (the classical S-matrix) of inelastic and reactive scattering processes, the reaction path Hamiltonian for describing polyatomic reactions, the S-matrix Kohn variational method for state-to- state reactive scattering, and a rigorous quantum theory of chemical reaction rates, based on flux correlation functions (and its semiclassical limit, the "instanton" model) that generalizes transition state theory. During the decade 2000-2010 his efforts focused on developing the initial value representation (IVR) of semiclassical theory into a practical way of adding quantum effects to classical molecular dynamics simulations of chemical processes. Most recently, work with graduate student & postdoc Stephen Cotton has shown how a totally classical molecular dynamics approach can provide an excellent (and efficient) description of electronically non-adiabatic processes.

Professor Miller is a member of the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Sciences (1985), the National Academy of Sciences (1987), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1993), the Leopoldina (German National Academy of Sciences, 2011), and Foreign Member of the Royal Society (UK national academy, 2015). His awards include the Annual Prize of the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Sciences (1974), the E. O. Lawrence Memorial Award (1985), the Irving Langmuir Award in Chemical Physics (1990), the American Chemical Society Award in Theoretical Chemistry (1994), the Hirschfelder Prize in Theoretical Chemistry (1996), the Ira Remsen Award (1997), the Spiers Medal of the Royal Society of Chemistry (1998), the Peter Debye Award in Physical Chemistry (2003), the Welch Award in Chemistry (2007), the Hershbach Award in Molecular Dynamics (2007), the Ahmed Zewail Prize in Molecular Sciences (2011), and the Robert S. Mulliken Award (2016).

See also: W. H. Miller, Autobiographical Sketch, J. Phys. Chem. A 105, 2487-2489 (2001).download pdf

William H. Miller
Kenneth S. Pitzer Distinguished    Professor
Department of Chemistry
University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-1460
Phone: 510-642-0653 
Fax:  510-642-6262