Christopher Miles

1105A Warren Weaver Hall
251 Mercer Street
New York, NY 10003

I'm currently the Morawetz Postdoctoral Fellow (Courant Instructor / Assistant Professor) at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences associated with New York University.

My work broadly pursues using mathematics to understand how biological systems function because of randomness rather than in spite of it. Details on my specific interests can be found below.

Molecular motors, microtubules, mitosis

Cells rely on teams of motor proteins to perform vital tasks including carrying cargo enormous distances and coordinating mitosis. These motors behave quite 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, Michael Vershinin, Alexey Khodjakov.

Related work

kSHREC ‘Delta’ reflects the shape of kinetochore rather than intrakinetochore tension

F Renda, V Magidson, I Tikhonenko, CE Miles, A Mogilner, A Khodjakov
Analysis of non-processive molecular motor transport using renewal reward theory

CE Miles, SD Lawley, JP Keener
SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics,
Complex nearly immotile behavior of microtubule-associated cargos

O Osunbayo, CE Miles, BJ Reddy, JP Keener, MD Vershinin
Soft Matter,
Bidirectionality from cargo thermal fluctuations in motor-mediated transport

CE Miles, JP Keener
Journal Theoretical Biology,

Ligand & receptor signaling

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

In this realm, my interests lie in understanding how cells extract the maximal amount of information from this 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,

Actin dynamics

I'm currently working on understanding how richly dynamic chemical and mechanical cues intertwine to regulate actin networks, especially during cell protrusions.

Collaborators: Alex Mogilner, Erik Welf, Gaudenz Danuser.

Related work

A unified role for membrane-cortex detachment during protrusion initiation

ES Welf, CE Miles, et al.

Other publications

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,


In Fall 2020, I'm teaching Calculus 1. More details to come soon.

Spring 2020 MATH-UA 324 Mathematical Statistics
Fall 2019 MATH-UA 324 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 children and underrepresented populations.

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

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