World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Brockway McMillan

Brockway McMillan
Second Director of the National Reconnaissance Office
In office
March 1, 1963[1] – October 1, 1965[2]
President John F. Kennedy/Lyndon B. Johnson
Preceded by Joseph V. Charyk
Succeeded by Alexander H. Flax
Personal details
Born (1915-03-30) March 30, 1915
Minneapolis, Minnesota[3]
Residence Sedgwick, Maine
Alma mater Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Occupation scientist, government official

Brockway McMillan (born March 30, 1915) is a retired American government official and scientist, who served as the eighth Under Secretary of the Air Force and the second Director of the National Reconnaissance Office.

McMillan received his B.S. in 1936 and a Ph.D. 1939 from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on a thesis entitled The calculus of discrete homogenous chaos supervised by Norbert Wiener.[4] He also served in the U.S. Navy at Dahlgren and Los Alamos during World War II. He joined Bell Telephone Laboratories 1946 as a research mathematician and published the article "The Basic Theorems of Information Theory" [5] and proved parts of Kraft's inequality, sometimes called the Kraft-McMillan theorem (Kraft proved that if the inequality is satisfied, then a prefix code exists with the given lengths. McMillan the converse, that unique decodeability implies that the inequality holds.)[6]

McMillan served as the President of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) 1959-1960. [7]

McMillan became assistant director of systems engineering in 1955 and was named director of military research in 1959. From 1961 to 1965 he was with the U.S. Air Force as assistant secretary for research and development and then undersecretary of the Air Force. He rejoined Bell Labs in 1965 and retired in 1979 as vice-president for military development. He is an

  1. ^ Laurie, Clayton. Leaders of the National Reconnaissance Office 1961-2001. Office of the Historian, National Reconnaissance Office. 1 May 2002.
  2. ^ Directors of the National Reconnaissance Office at 50 Years
  3. ^ Marquis Who's Who on the Web
  4. ^ Brockway McMillan at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  5. ^ McMillan, The Basic Theorems of Information Theory, Annals of Mathematical Statistics, Volume 24, Number 2 (1953), 196-219.
  6. ^ McMillan, B. (1956) Two inequalities implied by unique decipherability.IRE Trans. Inform. Theory 2: p.115-116
  7. ^ SIAM Presidents
  8. ^ "Anecdotes:The Origin of the Word Bit",Annals of the History of Computing, Volume 6, Number 2, April 1984
  9. ^ National Reconnaissance Office: Brockway McMillan official biography
  10. ^ Judy Green, Jeanne LaDuke, Pioneering Women in American Mathematics: The Pre-1940 PhD's, p. 244.


In 1942, while at Princeton University, Brockway married Audrey Wishard (–2008) who had a PhD in mathematics from Radcliff College in Cambridge, Boston, in 1938.[10]

McMillan promoted the development of a second generation of reconnaissance satellites: the KH-5 Argon (produced 1961–65) satellite mapping system, and KH-6 Lanyard (in use 1963), the first attempt to acquire higher resolutions imagery. He advocated maintaining the National Reconnaissance Office as the primary United States agency in space reconnaissance. [9]


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.