Interview with James C. Miller

What do you read for pleasure?
Mysteries. The process used by detectives in collecting clues (data), forming and testing hypotheses and finding the best answers to questions aligns with my interest in the scientific method. Also, local history. When I visit a new area, I enjoy reading about how it developed and the personalities involved.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle. I have over 250 books on my keyboard Kindle. I also do NY Times crossword puzzles on it. I use it at home and it travels with me.
Describe your desk
I use a MacBook Pro at a stand-up workstation, with a very nice view of Wyoming's Big Horn Mountains out the window to my left. I try to minimize the accumulation of paper, so I have an Epson scanner nest to my desk. To accommodate client and publishing requirements for the use of MS Word, I run Windows 7 in a virtual machine in the MacBook, supported by Parallels.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Westwood Village, located outside the south gate of UCLA, when the Village really was a village. In 1958, I became the test case as the first boy volunteer at the UCLA Medical Center (Los Angeles Herald, 20 September 1960). I worked for the great neurophysiologist, William Ross Adey (1922-2004). Initially, I learned electronics. Over the next six summers, as Ross' Space Biology Laboratory developed (SBL), I moved up to paid summer positions as a laboratory helper and then laboratory technician. In addition to Ross Adey, the other two principals in SBL were Ray Kado and Don Walter. Don published a seminal paper in 1963 about stationarity of the EEG as it relates to Fourier analysis of same. Don and Ray pioneered a number of EEG-analytic methods on the SBL computer system. I believe that this computer system provided the basis for both UCLA's Brain Information Service and the Biomedical Program (BMDP) statistical package.

Some of my experiences at SBL included building micro-pipettes for deep-brain, intra-cellular recordings made by Dr. Rafael Elul, helping to build a tachistoscopic EEG tester to be used with the original astronauts, and demonstrating with Rod Zweizig that EEG could be recorded reliably in a motor vehicle (Los Angeles Times, 23 July 1963).

In 1965 I spent a year of employment with the NASA Biosatellite III project at SBL, a project directed by Ross Adey. This project eventually (1969) orbited the monkey Bonnie (Los Angeles Times, 23 August 1964 and 29 August 1965). I was the bio-electronic recording technician for the project. I helped with brain implants, designed and built the cables that carried the biological signals from the monkey to the recording apparatus, specified and bought the recording apparatus, and conducted all of the signal acquisition activities during development that year..
When did you first start writing?
When I had to generate a doctoral dissertation. That process occurred in 1973-1975. I investigated the effects of altitude upon sleep architecture and cardiovascular functions. I used polysomnography and impedance cardiography. The dissertation, "Sleep at Altitude," is available as ProQuest document #759905741. The associated research articles were:
- Miller, J. C., & Horvath, S. M. (1976). Cardiac output during human sleep. Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, 47(10), 1046–1051.
- Miller, J. C., & Horvath, S. M. (1977). Cardiac output during sleep at altitude. Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, 48(7), 621–624.
- Miller, J. C., & Horvath, S. M. (1977). Sleep at altitude. Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, 48(7), 615–620.
- Miller, J. C., & Horvath, S. M. (1978). Impedance cardiography. Psychophysiology, 15(1), 80–91.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
After 40-plus years in the field, I have a lot to say. I don't have much patience with reviewers or publishers who "know better."
What's the story behind the Fundamentals book?
In the early 1980s, my colleague Dr. William F. (Bill) Storm at the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine (USAFSAM) at Brooks AFB in San Antonio, Texas, handed me two technical articles from German scientists, concerning the systematic analysis of shiftwork schedules. I studied and applied the useful methods that I found in these articles. Eventually, I incorporated this and a great deal of additional information into the original edition of "Fundamentals" in 1992. Subsequently, back at work with the same group but now under the aegis of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), I updated Fundamentals in 2006 as the AFRL response to a recommendation made in the Air Force Inspection Agency’s report of their USAF Eagle Look, "Shift Worker Fatigue."

The present edition of "Fundamentals" is updated, contains added sections and is designed for shiftwork schedulers, managers and fatigue risk management teams. The need for a new edition was made obvious to me by my experience over the last three years (2010-2013) working with the Control Room Management (CRM) Team of the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA). This team was tasked with creating new regulations to comply with new Federal Regulations, which read:
(1) Establish shift lengths and schedule rotations that provide controllers off-duty time sufficient to achieve eight hours of continuous sleep
(2) Educate controllers and supervisors in fatigue mitigation strategies and how off-duty activities contribute to fatigue;
(3) Train controllers and supervisors to recognize the effects of; and
(4) Establish a maximum limit on controller hours-of-service, which may provide for an emergency deviation from the maximum limit if necessary for the safe operation of a pipeline facility.
What's the story behind the Accidents book?
"Anatomy of a Fatigue-Related Accident" focuses on the anatomy of a fatigue-related accident. It is based upon my forensic experiences with aviation and highway accident investigations and upon work supported by the NTSB. It answers the question, How do you know whether fatigue might have been a factor i causing the accident?
What are you working on next?
I'm working on an ebook with the tentative title, "Maritime Watchstanding: History and Research." It is based upon two large-scale watchstanding research projects that I accomplished, and the research literature reviews that I conducted for those projects. It covers one-, two- and three- watch section plans, and both surface and submarine operations.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Coffee.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Looking for a time and place to go flyfishing.
Published 2014-12-05.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Maritime Watchstanding Plans: Origins, Variants and Effectiveness
Series: Shiftwork, Fatigue and Safety, Book 4. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 95,870. Language: American English. Published: June 30, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Science & Nature » Research & Methodology, Nonfiction » Science & Nature » Naval Science
This book is the most comprehensive reference work available concerning (1) the genesis and history of maritime watchstanding and (2) more than a half-century of research concerning different watchstanding plans. Includes assessments of more than 35 watchstanding plans that have been observed in civilian or military operations and/or studied in laboratories, and 331 technical references.
Anatomy of a Fatigue-Related Accident
Series: Shiftwork, Fatigue and Safety, Book 3. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 23,740. Language: English. Published: November 20, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Reference » Handbooks & Manuals
How do you know whether human fatigue was a factor in causing an accident? The fatigue scorecard, scoring procedures and basic information about sleep, circadian rhythms and fatigue described here will help you decide. Seven fatigue indicators explained that raise “red flags” with respect to the likelihood that human performance may have been impaired by fatigue at the time of a mishap.
Fundamentals of Shiftwork Scheduling, 3rd Edition: Fixing Stupid
Series: Shiftwork, Fatigue and Safety, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 51,130. Language: American English. Published: August 29, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Management & human resources, Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Labor
This book is for shiftwork schedulers and for teams involved in fatigue risk management systems (FRMS) for 24/7 operations. The book covers shift lengths from four to 24 hours, and numbers of crews from one to five. Shift plan examples include 4-, 6-, 8- 12- and 24-hour shift lengths, split-crew plans, a plan for part-time workers, and eight-plus-twelve-hour shift length combination plans.
Shiftwork: An Annotated Bibliography
Series: Shiftwork, Fatigue and Safety, Book 1. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 84,360. Language: English. Published: March 28, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Work-related health, Nonfiction » Science & Nature » Research & Methodology
This book is an annotated bibliography with more than 680 references. The primary purpose of the book was to gather relevant literature from databases with comprehensive coverage. The references cited herein address the design of shiftwork schedules and the effects of shiftwork on safety, health and human performance in many work environments
Cognitive Performance Research at Brooks Air Force Base, Texas, 1960-2009
Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 42,840. Language: English. Published: March 26, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Psychology » Research, Nonfiction » Science & Nature » History of Science
One of the aeromedical research groups at Brooks Air Force Base, Texas, focused on human cognitive performance. This historical review summarizes the work of that group from its founding through its closing, including biographies of scientists who influenced the group, the devices and techniques used by the group, and the group’s scientific contributions.