Professor William A. Martin Dies Following Long Illness
Dr. William A. Martin, associate professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and at the Sloan School of Management, died Tuesday, June 2, at his home in Brookline, after an extended illness. He was 43.
Professor Martin, whose main interest was in the practical application of artificial intelligence, was associated with the Laboratory for Computer Science and the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT. His work involved computer programs that embody various forms of expertise---mathematical, medical, management or linguistic---and the application of this expertise to practical ends. His system for symbolic mathematics is now used around the country by a large community of scientists. Professor Martin's interest in mangagement led him to the development of automatic programming techniques that are widely used.
His most recent research involved natural language processing and knowledge representation. He had just completed a syntactic analysis system for deciphering by computer the structure of English statements.
A native of Oklahoma City, Professor Martin was graduate from Northwest Classen High School, Oklahoma City, where he made his mark as a wrestler as well as a student. He was an Oklahoma state wrestling champion. He continued his active interest in athletics as an undergraduate at MIT, where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity.
Professor Martin received the bachelor's, master's, and PhD degrees from MIT in 1960, 1962, and 1967, respectively, all in electrical engineering. He began his teaching career at MIT in 1960 as a teaching assistant and was appointed to the faculty in June 1968. In July 1972 he was promoted to associate professor and he received academic tenure in 1975.
He is survived by his wife, the former Susan Y. Forbes; three children, Jamie, Tad and Jon; his parents Earl and Barbara Martin of Oklahoma City, and a sister, Jane Anne Slane, also of Oklahoma City.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the William A. Martin Memorial Fund, care of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Rm 38-459.
A service was held Friday, June 5, at Bigelow Chapel, Mount Auburn Cemetery. Burial also was at Mt. Auburn.