Obituary: William Martin McClain

by Linda Wang
July 6, 2018 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 96, ISSUE 28


Credit: Christina Noel
William Martin McClain

William Martin McClain, 79, died on Jan. 20 in Detroit.

“Martin began his academic career at the Unviersity of California, Berkeley, in 1967. He joined Wayne State’s chemistry department in 1973. He published over 60 manuscripts on the theory and development of two-photon absorption spectroscopy and its applications. He was a pioneer in using Mathematica, a computer-based system for mathematical problem solving by Wolfram Research, for both research and teaching. He authored a textbook, “Symmetry Theory in Molecular Physics with Mathematica.” He was an engaging teacher and a mentor to numerous undergraduates, doctoral students, and postdoctoral fellows. He was also a terrific storyteller, lover of art and music, and a gourmet chef.”—David M. Coleman and H. Bernhard Schlegel, friends and colleagues

Most recent title: chemistry professor, Wayne State University

Education: B.A., chemistry, Rice University, 1960; Ph.D., physical chemistry, Cornell University, 1965

Survivors: wife, Carol; daughters, Judith and Rachel; and four grandchildren

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