William Andrew Goddard III

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William Andrew Goddard III
BornMarch 29, 1937 (1937-03-29) (age 86)
Alma mater
Known forGeneralized valence bond
Scientific career
FieldsTheoretical chemistry
InstitutionsCalifornia Institute of Technology
ThesisAn improved many-electron theory for atoms and molecules which uses eigenfunctions of total spin (1965)
Doctoral advisorPol Duwez
Doctoral students
Other notable studentsPost-docs:
See festschrift.[1]

William Andrew Goddard III (born March 29, 1937) is the Charles and Mary Ferkel Professor of Chemistry and Applied Physics, and director of the Materials and Process Simulation Center at the California Institute of Technology.[2][3]

Early life and education[edit]

William A. Goddard III was born in El Centro California and lived his early years in farm towns across California (El Centro, Delano, Indio, Lodi, Oildale, MacFarland, Firebaugh, also Yuma AZ), where his dad made the wooden boxes used to ship agricultural products. He always dreamed of living in Los Angeles.[1] Goddard earned a BS in engineering from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1960 and PhD in engineering science with a minor in physics from Caltech in 1964.[4][5] He has four children (Bill, Suzy, Cecilia, Lisa) and has been married for 58 years.[citation needed]


He joined the chemistry faculty at Caltech in November 1964 where he remains today as a professor and researcher.

After his Ph.D. he remained at the California Institute of Technology as Arthur Amos Noyes Research Fellow (1964–66), Professor of Theoretical Chemistry (1967–78) and Professor of Chemistry & Applied Physics (1978-).[2][6] Goddard has made many contributions to theoretical chemistry, such as the generalized valence bond (GVB) method for ab initio electronic structure calculations and the ReaxFF force field for classical molecular dynamics simulations.

He is a member of the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.[2]

In August 2007, the American Chemical Society at its biannual national convention celebrated Goddard's 70th birthday with a 5-day symposium titled, "Bold predictions in theoretical chemistry."

As of November 2017, Goddard has published 1160 peer-reviewed articles.[7]


  1. ^ a b Goddard III, William A. (2000). "Critical Points and Random Events That Shaped the Early Career of William A. Goddard III". The Journal of Physical Chemistry A. 104 (11): 2147–2150. Bibcode:2000JPCA..104.2147.. doi:10.1021/jp000181r.
  2. ^ a b c "William A. Goddard III". International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science. Retrieved July 17, 2014.
  3. ^ "William A Goddard". Google Scholar. 2017.
  4. ^ "Prof. William A. Goddard III". Caltech Materials and Process Simulation Center. Retrieved July 17, 2014.
  5. ^ "William A. Goddard". Caltech. 2017.
  6. ^ "William A. Goddard III". Schrodinger.com. 2017.
  7. ^ "List of William A. Goddard published papers". Caltech. 2017.

External links[edit]