Thursday, August 12, 2010

CHEM 233 To-Do List, Course Info & Syllabus

Welcome to CHEM 233: Organic Chemistry Laboratory I
As we approach the start of the Fall 2010 semester, I want to welcome you to the course and also to give you a list of tasks that should be completed in the coming weeks.  Most of these should be completed before the first lab session so that you are adequately prepared and do not fall behind.  One of the most important skills required for success in a large university laboratory course, is your ability to seek out and follow directions carefully.  I encourage you to read all of the resources on the course website as well as on Blackboard that are discussed in the to-do list below.  If you have any questions, my door--and e-mail inbox--are already open and waiting to assist you.  I look forward to sharing my passion for the exciting world of organic chemistry with you.  This semester I aim not only to teach you the chemistry content and laboratory techniques that you require for your academic endeavors, but also to train you in the type of analytical thinking that is required for solving problems in a laboratory setting as well as the professional field to which you aspire.  While you may not want to be an organic chemist, the practical application of technical knowledge in a laboratory setting involves many general skills that  you will undoubtedly employ in your future careers.  
Dr. Chad Landrie

To Do List:
1.  Become acquainted with the resources available on Blackboard and on the course website (

2.  Purchase the required texts and materials for the course including the lab notebook, textbook and goggles.  All of these items are available at the UIC bookstore.  The lab manual will be distributed during the first laboratory sesssion.

3.  Carefully read the course syllabus.  The syllabus can be found in the lab manual, which will be distributed during the first laboratory session, or downloaded from the CHEM 233 File Sharing page on the course website.

4.  Review the principles of infrared spectroscopy as well as the common functional groups in organic chemistry.  During your first laboratory session, you will complete an activity titled Infrared Spectroscopy Primer (also in the lab manual) designed to review the principles of infrared spectroscopy and to demonstrate how this technique is used to identify functional groups in organic molecules.  If you are currently enrolled in CHEM 232, and have not encountered this analytical technique yet, you may want to begin working on the IR Primer as well as the pertinent sections in your lecture textbook before your lab.  You may also want to look over lecture slides from my CHEM 232 course on infrared spectroscopy.  The IR Primer activity will not be collected or graded (a pre-lab notebook entry is not required); it's sole function is to provide you with the information you need for the first laboratory experiment the following session.  Be sure to ask your TA plenty of questions so that you get the information you need.  During the following lab session, you will learn how to collect IR spectra on one of our two infrared spectrometers.  You will then use this technique on that day to identify unknown organic compounds.

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