Martin P. Gouterman received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago, including his Ph.D. in physics in 1958. Professor Gouterman then began his professional career at Harvard University before coming to the University of Washington in 1966. He was appointed as professor emeritus upon his retirement in 1999.
Professor Gouterman's research focused on the electronic spectra and structure of porphyrins and related compounds, involving the application of quantum theory to explain properties observed through experimentation. His research garnered many awards for his contributions to the field of porphyrin photochemistry.
In addition to his own research accomplishments, many of Professor Gouterman's graduate students have gone on to experience remarkable achievements in their own careers. His success as a mentor arose primarily from his belief that students should be given the freedom to work on the projects that they found most interesting, and from helping students to define their own goals.