Martin died in Berkeley, Calif., Jan. 1, 2023, at age 94. 

Born in New York March 8, 1928, Martin received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from City College in 1948 and his Ph.D. from Princeton in 1950. His dissertation, “On the Theory of Recursive Unsolvability,” was supervised by Alonzo Church.

During a research instructorship at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the early 1950s, he joined the Control Systems Lab and became one of the early programmers of the ORDVAC. He later worked at Bell Labs and the RAND Corp. before joining the faculty of New York University. During his time at NYU, he helped set up the university’s computer science department. After retiring from NYU in 1996, Martin became a visiting faculty member at UC Berkeley.

Martin contributed to the fields of computability theory and mathematical logic. He was best known for his work on Hilbert’s tenth problem leading to the MRDP theorem. He also advanced the Post-Turing model and co-developed the Davis–Putnam–Logemann–Loveland (DPLL) algorithm that is foundational for Boolean satisfiability solvers.  

His wife, Virginia Whiteford Palmer, died on the same day several hours after Martin. He is survived by sons Harold and Nathan.

Graduate alumni memorials are prepared by the APGA.

Class Year: 
Graduate Class of 1950