George E. Miller

Senior Lecturer SOE Emeritus, Chemistry
School of Physical Sciences

PH.D., Oxford University, 1963

B.S. 1958, Oxford University

Phone: (949)824-6649
Fax: (949) 824-1525

University of California, Irvine
326 Rowland Hall
Mail Code: 2025
Irvine, CA 92697

picture of George E. Miller

Radioanalytical and Analytical Chemistry
1983 School of Physical Sciences Award for Outstanding Contributions to UndergraduateEducation
1990 UCI Alumni Association Award for Academic Community Service
1995 ACS Orange County section Award for Service Through Chemistry
Appointments 1963-65, Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Kansas
1965-66, Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of California at Irvine

Research interests are based around the utilization of the UCI TRIGA Mark I nuclear reactor in various applied fields, and K-12 general science education, including teacher education and student assessment.

The availability of the highly sensitive neutron activation analysis technique, which can be used to analyze very small samples, has great application in the physical investi gation of archeological specimens. Such samples as pottery fragments and silver plate are examined. An extensive study was made to provide information both on the origin of sculptures and for reconstruction of broken pieces. Activation analysis studies are also done with diverse biomedical samples such as saliva, bone, hair, and blood. A major study involved measuring calcium and barium in bone samples as a way to monitor bone calcium loss, and as a calibration to correct measurement of bone lead content in archeological bone specimens.

Devices are designed and constructed to permit novel uses of the reactor facility equipment. Examples are a computer-controlled sample changer for gamma-ray spectrometry; a dual, precision, transfer system for activated samples; and computer programs for data handling. Past construction has included a fast (< 0.5 s) transfer system, a device enabling irradiation of samples at cryogenic temperatures, and an assortment of special irradiation devices.

The daily operation of the UCI nuclear reactor facility is my responsibility and students have been trained to become licensed reactor operators. They gain experience in related fields such as radiological monitoring, shielding design, equipment maintenance, and license administration.

I am involved in several programs aimed at improving science education in California through working with teachers of K-12 students. Part of this work involves studies of methods of assessment (performance assessment) where students are asked to use their science knowledge to solve small problems. Some are also asked to create portfolios of their work throughout the year. Studies are underway to determine the best methods of scoring such assessments, and how reliable these exams are at judging a student's achievement, in comparison to the more usual multiple-choice exams. Additional research is exploring how young students will best learn science for the twenty first century.

Publications A USA Model of Industry-Academic Partnership in the Dense Urban Area of Orange County, CA., George E. Miller and Mare Taagepera, "Synergy", Chemistry Industry Education Center. York, England, 1996.
  Defining the Critical Learning Path from Knowledge State
Analysis of the Density Concept. International Journal of Science
, in press, 1995. M. Taagepera,
F.A. Potter, G.E. Miller, K. Lakshminarayan.
  Portfolio Performance: Research Results from California's Golden
State Examinations Science Portfolio Project. The Science
, 62 (No 1), 50, 1995. M. Martin, G.E.
Miller, J. Delgado.
  Neutron Activation Analysis of an Unusual Green Pigment. Rock
Art Papers, Volume 9, San Diego Museum Papers
No 28, 1992, 147. G.E. Miller, G.S. Hurd.
  Oxygen Isotope Measurement by Instrumental Neutron
Activation Analysis using Reactor Neutrons - Revisited.
Journal of Radioanalytical Chemistry 1993,
168,257. G. E. Miller, T. A. Crofoot.
  Comparative Increases of Lead and Barium with Age in Human
Tooth Enamel, Rib, and Ulna. The Science of the
Total Environments
1991, 107, 179.
M. Manea-Krichton, C. Patterson, G. E. Miller, D. Settle, Y. Erel.

Link to this profile
Last updated 07/11/2001