Dr. William F. Miller spent about half of his professional life in business and about half in academia. This combination permitted him to play a unique role in the development of Silicon Valley. He received a PhD in Physics from Purdue University in 1956 and became the Director of the Applied Mathematics Division at the Argonne National Laboratory in 1958. Dr. Miller passed-away in 2017, and is greatly missed.
Dr. Miller was the last faculty member recruited to Stanford University by the legendary Frederick Terman who was then Vice President and Provost of Stanford. Miller carried out research in computer science and directed the research of many graduate students, and led the computerization of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center as well as laid the foundations for the wiring of the Stanford Campus. As Vice President for Research and later as Vice President and Provost Miller championed the establishment of the Office of Technology Licensing which has become the model for such activities at other universities.
As President and CEO of SRI International (1979-1990) Miller opened SRI to the Pacific Region, he established the spin-out and commercialization program at SRI and established the David Sarnoff Research Center (now the Sarnoff Corporation) as a for-profit subsidiary of SRI. He became the Chairman and CEO of the David Sarnoff Research Center.
After 1990, he spent about half of his time working with start-ups and non-profits in Silicon Valley. He helped organize ” Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network and served on the board of directors for three years. He co-founded SmartValley, Inc. and aided the formation of CommerceNet.