William Andrew Goddard III

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William Andrew Goddard III
BornMarch 29, 1937 (1937-03-29) (age 85)
Alma mater
Scientific career
InstitutionsCalifornia Institute of Technology
Doctoral advisorPol Duwez
Doctoral students
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, Materials and Process Simulation Center at the California Institute of Technology.[2][3] He obtained his B.S. from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1960 and his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology, 1965.[4] 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][5]


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 LA and became an undergraduate at UCLA (BS Engineering, June 1960) and a graduate student at Caltech [PhD in Engineering Science (minor in Physics), Oct. 1964]. He joined the chemistry faculty at Caltech in November 1964 where he remains today as a professor and researcher.[6] He has four children (Bill, Suzy, Cecilia, Lisa) and has been married for 58 years.[citation needed]

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. ^ 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 17 July 2014.
  3. ^ "William A Goddard". Google Scholar. 2017.
  4. ^ "Prof. William A. Goddard III". Caltech Materials and Process Simulation Center. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
  5. ^ "William A. Goddard III". Schrodinger.com. 2017.
  6. ^ "William A. Goddard". Caltech. 2017.
  7. ^ "List of William A. Goddard published papers". Caltech. 2017.

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