Saturday, August 17, 2019


Just discovered ReactionFlash. It's a nice app with a database of named reactions in organic chemistry. I found it on the Apple App store. Best of all it's free!

I love the quiz feature for brushing up on my skills. And within each named reaction you can view the mechanism, examples and if you're lucky enough or rich enough--I'm neither--to have a Reaxys subscription you can look it up in their platform as well. Reactions can filtered by level (e.g. basic, advanced) and category (e.g., elimination). And most useful for undergrads, reactions can be tagged as a favorite so they can study and quiz themselves on only the reactions they learn in class. The only improvement I can imagine, is the ability for users to create their own categories.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Students may schedule appointments with me by visiting the Appointments & Office Hours page within my website or going to my page directly.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

I am trying out a new blog entry that allows me to enter code

Friday, February 7, 2014

My Recommended Model Sets

My Model Set in a Toolbox
Do you want to understand conformational analysis and how to draw 3D organic molecules on paper? If you answered yes, then it is imperative that you purchase a molecular model set. I remember that "Ah, Ha!" moment I had in college when I finally began to build models to help me with my homework. I only wished then that I had started sooner. Any model set will work, but I recommend the Molecular Visions kits (#1, #1A or #1B) from Darling Models. They are available at three different price points, depending on the container you choose:

In a Plastic Case ($24)

In a Corrugated Box ($22)

In a Plastic Bag ($21)

These model sets are plastic, durable, and easily constructed. I particularly like how easy it is to rotate around bonds once you get them worked in a little. They superbly demonstrate how a cyclohexane chair flips from one chair conformation to another. That's a tough concept to understand until you can feel it in your hands.

I started with Kit #1A in grad school (I'm old; these fancy plastic models didn't exist when I was in college) and have slowly added pieces over the years so that I could build larger molecules like a protein alpha helix and a full turn of DNA. When I need to understand a complex structure, a physical model is still my first tool.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Welcome Oakton CHM 222 Summer Students

Welcome to Organic Chemistry II. My name is Prof. Chad Landrie and I will be your instructor this semester. I’m always especially excited to teach this course because you are not just students, but seasoned, experienced organic chemists (And if you’re not, no worries. I’ll get you caught up in no time). We can finally get to the fun stuff! In many ways I think you’ll find orgo II increasingly interesting as we learn new chemical transformations that allow us to synthesize bigger and more complex molecules and as we investigate essential biomolecules that will be used to describe the biological world around us. Let me begin by introducing the course content to you and then end by giving you a short to-do list that should be completed before the first class.

The content of Organic Chemistry II can be roughly divided into two parts. The first focuses on the reaction chemistry of carbonyl compounds (functional groups with carbon-oxygen double bonds) and the second on the nature and properties of biomolecules. Both parts of the course build upon the essential concepts in Organic Chemistry I, namely: intermolecular forces, chirality, bonding, resonance, and the electronic nature of organic molecules. In orgo I, you’ve used these concepts to explain phenomena such as the trend in boiling points of hydrocarbons and the relative acidity of carboxylic acids; you used your knowledge of organic reactions to design syntheses of small organic molecules; you learned how electrons flow during a chemical reaction and you depicted that information using curved-arrow notation–the infamous mechanism.

In the first half of orgo II we’ll continue to use the essential concepts from orgo I to describe new functional groups and rationalize their reactivity. Unlike orgo I, however, where we only learned a couple carbon-carbon bond-forming reactions (e.g., Diels-Alder, alkyne alkylation), many of the reactions introduced in orgo II will be used to do just that. Transformations such as the Aldol condensation and the Wittig reaction are the Holy Grail of organic chemistry since they allow us to connect carbon fragments together. Those of you interested in synthesis of natural products and pharmaceuticals will find the first half of the course engaging.

The second half of orgo II will appeal to the biologists in the class (most of you!). We will discuss the physical and chemical properties of biomolecules such as amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, steroids and nucleic acids including the chemical reactions in which they participate. Notably, many of the chemical reactions of biomolecules are similar to those we explored in the first half of the course. Their chemical reactivity will then allow us to discuss how each of these molecules is synthesized in living systems (biosynthesis) as well as how they are used in the material world (e.g., hydrolysis of lipids to make soap and transesterification of lipids to form biodiesel.) The course culminates with a discussion of how living systems metabolize some of these biomolecules to release energy. Here we’ll focus on the organic transformations occurring in some of the enzyme-mediated processes. Metabolism is a rather innocuous word for a subject of great breadth; in other words, we’ll just survey some of the many reactions covered under this enormous topic.

As you can see, we have quite a bit to explore this semester. You will find the course challenging (that’s good!) but I hope you will also find the content and presentation meaningful for your future careers and academic endeavors. I want all of you to be successful and I will do whatever I can this semester to help you achieve your goals. We will jump right in on our first day of class; so, to help you get ready, I’ve put together a short to-do list. Please work diligently to complete each item before our first class. If you have questions or need help, don’t hesitate to stop by my office, call or send an email.

Dr. L

To-Do List

1. Obtain the required and recommended resources for the course including the textbook, laboratory manual, laboratory notebook and goggles. The full list is in thesyllabus and can also be found below. Decide now whether you intend to purchase your own i>Clicker or whether you will use a loaned i>Clicker that must be returned after each class. For more information, visit the i>Clicker page.

2. Download the 
syllabus from D2L or the Download Center. Read the syllabus carefully to familiarize yourself with the course requirements, schedule and policies. Know what’s going to be expected of you this semester so that you are adequately prepared the first day and can ask informed questions. A hard copy of the syllabus will be distributed during the first day of class. I’ll go over the syllabus briefly the first day, but won’t spend hours reading it to you. It’s better if you come prepared with questions.

3. Familiarize yourself with your 
D2L course (Make sure you’ve been automatically enrolled!). Right now, all that is posted on D2L is the course syllabus. Later I will use this platform to post your course scores and current grade.

4. Familiarize yourself with the course website. I will primarily use the website to disseminate content such the
syllabusschedulescalendars and lecture slides. Important announcements will always be emailed to the class using your preferred email in Banner (login in to myOakton). Most of these announcements can also be found on myblog.

5. Read sections 17.1-17.4 in your textbook. We will cover this material during our first class. I also recommend that you attempt the following problems at the end of Ch. 17: 17.25, 17.28, 17.34a-c, 17.36a-d, 17.39, 17.40, 17.43, 17.50, 17.52, 17.53, 17.61. For problems that you are having trouble with, write a list of questions you would like to discuss during class.

6. Attend the first class! Attendance is required and important for your success. We will be using i>Clickers beginning on the first day of class and your attendance is recorded each time you vote.

7. Get excited! Have fun! Your attitude and zeal this semester are so important to your success. I speak from experience! (Ask me about my history and botany classes in college.)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Lecture 24 Screencast

I created a screencast for lecture 24 and posted that to my YouTube channel. CHM 223 students should watch this lecture before Monday, April 29 and answer the embedded questions. The quiz on Monday will cover the topics presented in the screencast.

Orgo I (223) Catch Up!

I hope everyone is well and safe from the flood waters that have closed Oakton through this Thursday. While I'm sure you're enjoying your break (I am!), chemistry must march on. I've developed a plan that should put us back on track. Here are the details:

1. Exam 3 is a take-home exam. You may access this now from the Download Center. The exam is due Monday, April 29 at the beginning of class. You are expected to work on the exam individually. Answers should be thorough and reflect the extra time you will have to complete the exam.

2. I've created a screencast of lecture 24 that we were going to cover today. Watch this screencast on my YouTube channel prior to class on Monday. You should also answer the i>Clicker questions within the lecture on notebook paper and include these as part of the Homework 9 and 10 combined assignment. As always, you may download the lecture slides from the course website.

3. Quiz 9 will be on Monday and will cover the material from the screencast lecture.

4. A combined homework 9 and 10 assignment has been posted to the Download center. It is due Wednesday, May 8. Begin working on this now. You will be able to answer many of these questions after you've watched lecture 24.

5. The second synthesis packet has also been posted to the Download center. We will work on these problems together during our final Skillbuilder next Wednesday. You should start working on them now so that you can ask informed questions that day. All of the synthesis questions on the final exam will come directly from the two synthesis packets.

6. There will be no poster assignment as planned. Instead, the ACS exam will be worth 100 points. We will prepare for this exam (multiple choice) in lab next week.

7. The study guide for the final exam (Wednesday, May 8) has been posted to the Download Center. Start studying now! The synthesis packets are a great way to start since these require a cumulative knowledge of the transformations we've discussed. Also, use the homework (old, new and the recommended problems at the top of each assignment) as well as clicker and quiz questions. The final will closely resemble these assignments. By all means, use the lecture slides as a reference, but please do not spend hours "reviewing" by flipping through slides or by rereading the book. This is rarely beneficial. Problems! Problems! Problems! Also, continue to organize reactions into categories that makes sense to you (e.g., all reactions that form ketones). This process is very helpful in making connections between old material and new which will help you remember it better.

8. Our last lab will be Exp. 24-Nitration on Monday, April 29. Please have your prelab completed. Your lab notebook is due on Wednesday, May 1. The notebook will be graded according to the description and rubric discussed at the beginning of semester. Ten random entries will be chosen. I hope to get these back to you on the day of the final (May 8).

9. The online schedule has been updated.

10. I will be available all week on Skype (clandrie; video and chat). Don't hesitate to get in touch if you have questions or need some help. And as always, I check my email about once a minute. ;)

Have a great week. Work hard!

Dr. L

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Exam One Scores Posted on D2L

All scores, including exam one, have been updated on D2L. The curve for exam one, as well as other course stats, can be found on the Grades Fall 2012 page of the course website. Your estimated course grade has also been posted to D2L; however, do not place too much weight on this letter grade. We've only completed 240 points out of 1000 in the course, which means there are vast opportunities for improvement if you are not meeting your goals. If you are falling behind or did not meet your expectations on the exam, please see me as soon as possible so that we can work together on a plan for success.
The exam will be returned during class, Thursday, Sept. 20. If, after reviewing your exam, you believe there are grading or adding errors, please follow the instructions in the document, exam_corrections.pdf, which can be found in the Download Center. Exams must be returned to Dr. L by Thursday, September 27 to be considered for corrections.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Homework 1 Posted

Homework 1 is now available on the Download Center page of the course website. You must print this assignment out, complete it and turn it in at the beginning of class on Thursday, August 30. Make your homework as neat as possble. Illegible writing will be marked as incorrect. I highly recommend that you work on as much of this assignment as possible this weekend so that you have ample time to see me during office hours next week if you need help.
In the future, an annoucement will not be made each time a new homework assigment is posted to the website. You are responsible for checking the website frequently for new assignments when a new deadline is approaching.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Microscale Techniques in the Organic Laboratory (by Connie Churchill) DVD is now available online free of charge. This can be accessed at Oakton's streaming videos site: Currently, this site can only be accessed through Oakton's intranet network (i.e., on campus). The direct links to the series are:

Parts 1-14

Parts 15 - 20

You may also access these videos off-campus through an old URL at This link may not be valid in the future, however.

It is required that you watch the segments on the techniques you will be using before you come to the laboratory. These videos contain information and descriptions that cannot be found in the lab manual. They also show excellent demonstrations of how the laboratory equipment should be used. Some of this information may be useful to include in your prelab entries. Be prepared for lab by taking advantage of this excellent resource.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Welcome to Organic Chemistry I (CHM 223)


The fall semester is upon us and it’s time to start preparing for our first class. Welcome to Organic Chemistry I, CHM 223. My name is Prof. Chad Landrie and I’ll be your instructor this semester. Our metaphor for successfully completing this course is the Simmons-Smith cyclopropanation. As we’ll learn later this semester, the Simmons-Smith reaction is performed by combining diiodomethane (Motivation) with zinc (Diligence) to create a highly reactive carbon atom. This reactive intermediate then combines with the double bonds (Preparation/Organization) to form 3-membered rings called cyclopropanes (your success, A+). It’s a cheesy metaphor, I know. What can I say? I’m a nerdy chemist. The point is I intend not only to share my passion for the world of organic chemistry with you, but also to help you become an effective and efficient learner. That process starts with preparation and organization, which I discuss briefly below. On our first day of class we’ll discuss motivation and diligence, so start thinking about what those characteristics mean to you.

Preparation and organization are, in my opinion, the most important components of being a successful learner. They are the foundation upon which we will construct an environment that maximizes our potential to learn. When we prepare for something, we start by asking questions that test our readiness for a task, such as:

  • When is the first quiz?
  • What material do I need to review and master before lecture?
  • How do I write a laboratory notebook entry?
  • How much time will I need to complete the homework assignment?
  • Where is my instructor’s office and when can I visit if I need help?
  • Who is responsible for reminding me when assignments are due?
  • What are the course policies I need to know?

Once we’ve answered these questions and constructed a list of tasks that need to be completed, then we need to organize the information we’ve gained as well as our time. We all organize information and time uniquely, but below are some best practices that I believe we should implement.

  • Develop a personal schedule. Time management is crucial in ensuring you can complete the tasks for all your courses to the best of your ability. Make your schedule as detailed as possible by including time for class, work, studying and homework. Reserving Sunday to do everything is a recipe for disaster.
  • Make weekly to-do lists. There’s nothing more satisfying for me than checking off the last item on a to-do list however short it may be. Just the act of making the list helps us ask and then remember what needs to be done.
  • Know your course progress. Frequently check your scores and course grade on D2L. See your instructor right away when you are not meeting your goals so that together the two of you can formulate a study plan.
  • Reorganize notes into categories that make sense to you. There are many ways the information in this course can be organized; the order of the sections in the textbook is not the only or necessarily the best way. For example, midway through the course you may want to make a list of all reactions you’ve learned that proceed through a carbocation intermediate. The act of reorganizing notes and creating new notes will help you form connections between topics, which will increase your understanding and retention.

To help you prepare and get organized, I’ve asked some of these preparation questions for you and developed a to-do list, which you’ll find below. The tasks in this list should be completed before our first class. If you have questions or need help, don’t hesitate to stop by my office, call or send an email. I look forward to meeting you all as we begin this exciting journey. And if you are passionate about learning, it will be exciting.

Dr. L

Office: 2106 DP
Office: 847-376-7439

To-Do List

1. Obtain the required and recommended resources for the course including the textbook, laboratory manual, laboratory notebook and goggles. The full list is in the syllabus and can also be found on the CHM 223 course website. Decide now whether you intend to purchase your own i>Clicker or whether you will use a loaned i>Clicker that must be returned after each class. For more information, read the section on i>Clickers in the course syllabus or on the i>Clicker page on the website.

2. Download the syllabus from D2L, or the Download Center within the course website. You may also view it on the Syllabus page. Read the syllabus carefully to familiarize yourself with the course requirements, schedule and policies. Know what's going to be expected of you this semester so that you are adequately prepared the first day and can ask informed questions. A hard copy of the syllabus will be distributed during the first day of class.

3. Familiarize yourself with your D2L course (Make sure you've been automatically enrolled!). Right now, all that is posted on D2L is the course syllabus. Later I will use this platform to post your course scores and current grade.

4. Familiarize yourself with the course website. I will primarily use the website to disseminate content such the syllabus, schedules, calendars and lecture slides. Important announcements will always be emailed to the class through D2L. These announcements can also be found on my blog.

5. Study sections 1.1-1.5; 1.11, and 1.12 in your textbook. The majority of the first chapter is a review of general chemistry topics and will be covered quickly. Studying includes not only reading the sections, but also attempting some of the problems and formulating a list of questions you'd like to ask during lecture.

6. Complete problems 1-19 from Chapter 1. These problems will not be graded or turned in; however, you should use these to test your understanding of basic general chemistry topics. This will give you an idea of whether you have sufficient mastery of general chemistry to begin learning organic chemistry. If you're having trouble with this assignment, see me right away so that I can help.

7. Attend the first class! Attendance is required and important for your success. We will be using i>Clickers beginning on the first day of class and your attendance is recorded each time you vote.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Botany: An Alternative Science Lab

Are you looking for an alternative science lab? Checkout Botany (BIOL 108):

Lecture: Wednesday, 6:30 - 8:45 pm

Laboratory: Monday, 6:30 - 8:45 pm

Thursday, August 2, 2012

CHEM 233 Final Grades Posted

Your course scores and final grade have been posted to Blackboard. The course curve and other statistics have been posted on theGrades Summer 2012 page of the CHEM 233 course website. If you have questions or concerns about your final grade in the course, please stop by my office this Friday (8/3) between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. It was great working with all of you. I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer. Best of luck in your future endeavors. -Dr. L

Friday, July 13, 2012

Final Exam, Practical Exam and Notebook Info

The final exam for CHEM 233 will be Thursday, August 2 at 6:00 p.m. in room 250 SES. For more information, including makeup procedures, policies, sample questions and topics, download the document,  finalinfo_233SU12.pdf, from the File Sharing page of the course website.

This document also contains information concerning the lab practical exam and lab notebook due date. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

CHEM 233 Midterm Grades and Stats Posted

Your midterm exam score, lab report average score and current course grade have been posted to Blackboard. You will receive your exam back during your next lab session. For midterm exam and course grading stats, visit the  Grades Summer 2012 page on the  CHEM 233 course website. 

After you receive your exam, carefully check for mistakes or addition errors. If you believe there is a grading error, first consult your TA and if they agree, then submit your exam for review according to the instructions in the handout (exam_corrections.pdf ) posted on the  File Sharing Page  of the  orgo labs website . You must submit your exam directly to Dr. L by Monday, July 16 for it to be considered for corrections. No exam will be accepted or corrections made after that date. 

Finally, if you would like more information on your standing in the course or are concerned about your performance, please stop by during office hours as soon as possible so that we can discuss strategies for improving your grade. Little can be done at the end of the semester. With over 300 points remaining in the course, however, you can still make significant improvements if you are not meeting your current goals.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

CHEM 233 Midterm Exam

Reminder: The CHEM 233 midterm exam for all sections will be on Monday, July 9 at 4:00 p.m. in room 250 SES. Arrive 10-15 minutes early so you have time to find your seat according to the seating chart that will be distributed that day. The format of the exam will be similar to the sample exams that are posted on the Sample Exams page of the course website. The midterm will cover the theory and techniques from labs 1-6. Also, no programmable calculators, graphing calculators, iPhones, iPods, PDAs or similar devices may be used. Only simple, non-programmable calculators may be used for calculations.

My YouTube Premier

Check out my first YouTube video. It's a screencast demonstrating how to use ChemDraw 12.0: Mac to add electron lone-pairs and charges to atoms in Lewis structures. I used Camtasia 2.0: Mac to make this screencast, which is a fantastic piece of software. After only a couple video tutorials, I was already editing video and adding eye-catching effects. And this is only the beginning! I plan to add future video series to my YouTube channel including classroom lectures, demonstrations of laboratory techniques and software screencasts. Stay updated with recent postings by following me here, on Twitter or by subscribing to my YouTube channel.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Lab Manuals to be Stocked by Week's End

The bookstore has run out of lab manuals. They expect to have more in stock by the end of the week (Friday, June 15). In the meantime, I have posted the course syllabus, the IR Primer, Lab One and Lab Two to the File Sharing page of the course website.  

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Welcome to CHEM 233, Summer 2012

As we approach the start of the summer 2012 semester, I want to welcome you to the course and also to give you a list of tasks that should be completed before your first class. 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 here 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 email inbox are open for business.  I'm looking 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 manual, lab notebook, textbook and goggles.  All of these items are available at the UIC bookstore.
3.  Carefully read the  course syllabus .  The syllabus can be viewed online, found in the lab manual, downloaded from the course website's File Sharing Page  ( syllabus_233SP11toSU12.pdf) or downloaded from Blackboard.
4.  Review the principles of infrared spectroscopy as well as the common functional groups in organic chemistry.  During your first laboratory session, you will participate in an infrared spectroscopy primer (also in the lab manual) designed to introduce and 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 review lecture slides I've posted on spectroscopy on the  File Sharing page  ( spectroscopy_232_Lec1 ).  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 spectrometers.  You will then use this technique on that day to identify unknown organic compounds.
5. Complete a prelab notebook entry before Lab One. A description of how to keep a laboratory notebook as well as the grading rubric that will be used to assess each entry can be found in the course manual.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

CHEM 232 Final Grades Posted

Your final exam score and course grade have been posted to Blackboard. As usual, the course stats can be viewed on the Grades Spring 2012 page. If you have concerns and would like to discuss your grade, you may stop by my office Friday, May 4 between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.   It was great working with all of you this semester. Stop by anytime if you need help in your future chemistry courses. Have a great summer and best of luck in all your academic endeavors. -Dr. L