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Jonathan Miles
Professor of Integrated Science and Technology, James Madison University, USA

How do you spend a typical day?
I interact with students daily, sometimes even during evenings and on weekends. Teaching is my profession, and research supports my teaching and my professional development. And all of my research is designed so that it involves my undergraduate students. The opportunity to mentor students in a research environment is one of my most challenging and most rewarding teaching experiences.

What do you love about your job?
The opportunity to engage in the development of interesting, often cutting-edge, courses, curricula, and research. I especially appreciate the ability to direct my own activities, to work creatively, and to partner with my students and even some alumni on rewarding research and development efforts.

What have you learned through experience that you wish you had known before starting your career in optics?
I learn something new almost every day that makes me a more capable researcher on future projects. The best lesson I have learned is that learning, in and of itself, is a continuing process, and that the most difficult problems we encounter frequently provide the best opportunities to gain greater knowledge and understanding of the physical world. It is always a best practice to thoroughly engage in all aspects of a project.

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