Christopher Miles

530 Rowland Hall
Irvine, CA 92697

I'm an Assistant Professor of Mathematics, and affiliated with the Center for Complex Biological Systems and the NSF-Simons Center for Multiscale Cell Fate at UC Irvine.

Previously, I was a postdoc at the Courant Institute and received my PhD from the University of Utah.

My work pursues using mathematics to understand spatial organization of biological systems at the cellular and molecular scale, often through collaboration with experimental scientists.


April, 2022. Excited for two upcoming regional conferences: SoCalSysBio and SOCAMS. If you're planning to attend either and would like to chat, please reach out!

January, 2022. Two new papers out on motion in the mitotic spindle: a collaboration with the Khodjakov lab in Current Biology and a modeling paper in Bulletin of Math Bio.

October, 2021. I'm actively building a research group and have opportunities for grad (in math or computational biology) and undergrad students. Please reach out if interested!

September, 2021. I'm co-organizing UCI's Applied & Computational Math Seminar. Let me know if you'd like to share your work in it.

Understanding particle movement data in cells

Rapid advancements in imaging have led to an abundance of exciting data of stuff moving around inside cells. However, what to do with this data isn't totally clear.

My work in this realm has been adapting statistics & data science tools to connect mechanistic models of movement with particle data in mitosis and intracellular transport.

Collaborators: Michael Vershinin, Alexey Khodjakov.

Related work

Non-centrosomal microtubules at kinetochores promote rapid chromosome biorientation during mitosis in human cells

F Renda, CE Miles, ..., A Mogilner, A Khodjakov
Current Biology
Effects of malleable kinetochore morphology on measurements of intrakinetochore tension

F Renda, ..., CE Miles, A Mogilner, A Khodjakov
Open Biology
Complex nearly immotile behavior of microtubule-associated cargos

O Osunbayo, CE Miles, BJ Reddy, JP Keener, MD Vershinin
Soft Matter,

Stochastic models of the cytoskeleton & motors

Cells rely on teams of motor proteins to perform vital tasks including carrying cargo enormous distances and coordinating mitosis. These motors behave randomly as individuals yet unite harmoniously.

A central theme of my research pursues the question: how does the randomness of individual motors affect their ability to function collectively?

Collaborators: Jim Keener, Alex Mogilner, Gaudenz Danuser.

Related work

Mechanical torque promotes bipolarity of the mitotic spindle

CE Miles, J Zhu, A Mogilner
Bulletin of Mathematical Biology
Actin-Membrane Release Initiates Cell Protrusions

ES Welf, CE Miles, ..., A Mogilner, G Danuser
Developmental Cell
Analysis of non-processive molecular motor transport using renewal reward theory

CE Miles, SD Lawley, JP Keener
SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics,
Bidirectionality from cargo thermal fluctuations in motor-mediated transport

CE Miles, JP Keener
Journal Theoretical Biology,

Information flow in ligand/receptor signaling

Cells transmit signals by releasing particles (ligands) that diffuse around in search of targets (receptors), an inherently random process.

I'm interested in understanding how spatial organization (e.g. movement, clustering) affects the cell's ability extract information from this noisy communication procedure.

Collaborators: Sean Lawley, Alan Lindsay.

Related work

Receptor organization shapes the limits of single-cell direction sensing

SD Lawley, AE, Lindsay, CE Miles
Physical Review Letters
, 2020
Diffusive search for diffusing targets with fluctuating diffusivity and reactivity

SD Lawley, CE Miles
Journal of Nonlinear Science,
How receptor surface diffusion and cell rotation enhance association rates

SD Lawley, CE Miles
SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics,

Other publications

Collective Molecular Motor Transport

CE Miles, A Mogilner
Case Studies in Systems Biology (book)
Jump locations of jump-diffusion processes with state-dependent rates

CE Miles, JP Keener
Journal of Physics A: Mathematical & Theoretical,
Exploring the connection between matroids and network coding theory

CE Miles, I Jouny, G Gordon
Proceedings of 47th Annual Conference on Information Sciences and Systems,


My teaching strives to promote Federico Ardila's axioms.

In Spring 2022, I'm teaching Math 112C, Partial Differential Equations (PDEs).

Winter 2022 Math 112B Intro PDEs
Fall 2021 Math 3D Intro to Differential Equations
Spring 2021 MATH-UA 234 Mathematical Statistics
Fall 2020 MATH-UA 123 Calculus 1
Spring 2020 MATH-UA 234 Mathematical Statistics
Fall 2019 MATH-UA 234 Mathematical Statistics
Spring 2019 MATH-UA 211 Math for Econ 1
Fall 2018 MATH-UA 123 Calculus III
Summer 2018 Math 3150 PDEs for Engineers
Spring 2017 Math 1180 Prob & Stats for Biologists (lab)
Fall 2016 Math 1170 Calc for Biologists (lab)
Summer 2016 Math 3140 Vector Calculus & PDEs
Spring 2016 Math 1321 Accelerated Engineering Calc II
Fall 2015 Math 2250 ODEs & Linear Algebra
Spring 2015 Math 1320 Engineering Calculus II
Fall 2014 Math 1310 Engineering Calculus I


As a first-generation college student, I'm passionate about scientific outreach, especially to historically excluded populations.

In past years, I was a Science Communication Fellow and participated in the NSF INCLUDES program for incarcerated youth. More recently, I was also a Proud to be First (generation) advocate at NYU.

In the rare instances of spare time from all of the above, you might find me: searching for new vegan food, rock climbing, or complaining about my extremely needy cat, Piper.

For the sake of clarity: I am not Chris Miles, the rapper. Nor am I Christopher J. Miles, the other scientist. I am also not Chris Miles, the artist. However, I have crossed paths with him and appreciate his work.