Milton Van Dyke


Milton Denman Van Dyke (August 1, 1922 – May 10, 2010) was Professor of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University. He was known for his work in fluid dynamics, especially with respect to the use of perturbation analysis in aerodynamics. His often-cited book An Album of Fluid Motion presents a collection of about 400 selected black-and-white photographs of flow visualization in experiments, received – on his request – from researchers all over the world.[5]

Milton Van Dyke
Milton D. Van Dyke.jpg
Born(1922-08-01)August 1, 1922
Chicago, U.S.
DiedMay 10, 2010(2010-05-10) (aged 87)
Alma materHarvard University
California Institute of Technology
Known forFluid dynamics
Van Dyke flows
AwardsFulbright Award for Research (1954)[1]
Guggenheim Fellowship (1954)[2]
Otto Laporte Award (APS, 1986)[3]
• Fluid Dynamics Award (AIAA, 1997)[4]
Scientific career
FieldsFluid dynamics
InstitutionsStanford University
ThesisA Study Of Second-Order Supersonic Flow (1949)
Doctoral advisorPaco Lagerstrom
Doctoral studentsAli H. Nayfeh
Ramesh K. Agarwal

Together with Bill Sears, Milton founded the Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics, in 1969,[5] for which he was an editor until 2000.


He was the son of James and Ruth (Barr) Van Dyke.[6]

He studied Engineering Sciences at Harvard University, from 1940 until 1943. Thereafter he started working at NACA Ames Laboratory. After the Second World War, Milton went to Caltech, to obtain his MS in 1947 and PhD (magna cum laude) in 1949. A second period at Ames Laboratory followed. During this period, Milton was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship and Fulbright grant, which he used to spend the 1954–55 academic year working with George Batchelor at Cambridge University. He was a visiting professor at the University of Paris in the 1958–59 academic year,[6] then in 1959 he was appointed as a professor at the new Aerodynamics department of Stanford University.[5]

He married Sylvia Jean Agard Adams in 1962 and the couple would eventually have six children.[6] In 1976, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

He was the director of Parabolic Press, an independent publisher of engineering books.

The first issue in 2014 of the Journal of Engineering Mathematics was a special issue to honour Milton Van Dyke and his work.[7]



  • Milton Van Dyke (1978). Perturbation methods in fluid mechanics (annotated 2nd ed.). The Parabolic Press. ISBN 0-915760-01-0.
  • Milton Van Dyke (1982). An album of fluid motion. The Parabolic Press. ISBN 0-915760-03-7.


  1. ^ "SP-4302 Adventures in Research: A History of Ames Research Center 1940–1965. Part II : A New World Of Speed : 1946–1958. 1954–1957". NASA. Retrieved 2009-02-21.
  2. ^ "Fellowships to Assist Research and Artistic Creation: Milton Denman Van Dyke". John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Archived from the original on 2011-06-03. Retrieved 2009-02-21.
  3. ^ "Otto Laporte Award". American Physical Society. Archived from the original on 2008-12-02. Retrieved 2009-02-21.
  4. ^ "Fluid Dynamics Award Past Recipients". American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Archived from the original on 2008-09-29. Retrieved 2009-02-21.
  5. ^ a b c Schwartz (2002)
  6. ^ a b c Gregory, J. (1980) Who's Who in Engineering, 4th ed., American Association of Engineering Societies.
  7. ^ Schwartz, Leonard W. (2014). "Preface to the special issue honouring Professor Milton Van Dyke". Journal of Engineering Mathematics. 84 (1): 1–3. Bibcode:2014JEnMa..84....1S. doi:10.1007/s10665-013-9643-8. S2CID 119829546.


  • Van Dyke, Milton (1975). Perturbation Methods in Fluid Mechanics (2nd annotated ed.). Stanford: Parabolic Press. ISBN 0-915760-01-0.
  • Van Dyke, Milton (1982). An Album of Fluid Motion (10th ed.). Stanford: Parabolic Press. ISBN 0-915760-02-9.
  • Schwartz, Leonard W. (2002). "Milton Van Dyke, the man and his work". Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics. 34 (34): 1–18. Bibcode:2002AnRFM..34....1S. doi:10.1146/annurev.fluid.34.081701.124242.
  • Jess McNally (May 31, 2010). "Milton Van Dyke, influential fluid mechanics professor, dead at 87". Stanford Report, Stanford University. Retrieved 2010-06-10.
  • Schwartz, Leonard; Bradshaw, Peter; Vincenti, Walter G. (2011). "Milton D. Van Dyke: 1922–2010". In National Academy of Engineering (ed.). Memorial Tributes. Vol. 15. National Academies Press. pp. 396–402. ISBN 978-0-309-21306-6.

External linksEdit

  • Milton Van Dyke at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  • "From Durand to Hoff: The history of aeronautics at Stanford" (PDF). Stanford University. Retrieved 2017-12-23.
  • "The Parabolic Press". Archived from the original on 2010-08-23. Retrieved 2009-02-21.
  • NAE page[permanent dead link]