Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Advanced Chemistry Course Options

First in a series....

Have you taken organic chemistry, enjoyed it, and now realize that you only got the tip of the iceberg and want to know more? Consider Chemistry 388: Advanced Organic Chemistry this spring (T 0800-0925, Th 0800-0920). This course is taught ONLY EVERY OTHER YEAR, ONLY IN THE SPRING, so if you are a junior or senior, this is your LAST CHANCE to register for it.

Here's the scoop.

From the catalog:

"This course explores the subject of organic chemistry at a greater depth and breadth than in Chemistry 247 and Chemistry 248. Topics may include analysis of reaction mechanisms, reaction kinetics, and reaction thermodynamics. Particular attention is paid to the interdependent relationship between experimental and theoretical results. Textbook subjects are augmented by readings from the primary research literature. Prerequisite: Chemistry 248. Offered alternate years in the spring semester."

OK, so what does that mean? It means that we'll take a close look at how organic reactions work, and in particular, we'll take a close look at how people STUDY organic reactions -- how they design experiments and calculations to get answers to fundamental questions, especially questions like "How did that happen?" or "Why didn't that work?"

The exact direction we take in the course will depend upon student interest. I guess I could say this is NOT going to be a synthesis course, and no lab, either. (If you are interested in that, be sure to check out Chemistry 374, Advanced Synthesis Lab. Maybe take both!) If you like puzzles and you like organic chemistry, this course should be fun, challenging, and highly rewarding. My goal is to get us digging into the literature, talking about some of the really great experiments that have been done that provide the basis for what is taught in Chemistry 247 and 248, and to get us thinking about how professional organic chemists think about the subject they love.

You know, what you learned in Chemistry 247/248 really is just the tip of the iceberg. Join me this spring and discover what makes it float -- what makes organic chemistry one of the most fascinating and intellectually stimulating areas of active research in the sciences.

As for all upper level courses, we have a minimum registration requirement of 6 students to make this fly, so if you are interested, bring a friend!

Prof. Hanson

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