Tuesday, December 29, 2009

CHEM 112: To Do List

As we approach the start of the Spring 2010 semester, I want to welcome you to the course and also give you a list of tasks that should be completed in the coming weeks.  Most of these should be completed before the first lecture so that you are adequately prepared and do not fall behind.  One of the most important skills required for success in a large university lecture 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 e-mail inbox--are already open and waiting to assist you.  I'm looking forward to sharing my passion for the exciting world of chemistry with you.  This semester I aim not only to teach you the chemistry content you require for your academic endeavors, but also to train you in the type of analytical thinking that is required for solving problems in chemistry as well as the professional field to which you aspire.

Dr. Chad Landrie

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

2.  Obtain the document, General Chemistry (CHEM 112): Syllabus and Course Information, by picking up a hard copy at the bookstore or by downloading a pdf version from the course website.  Read all of the information carefully before the first lecture.  This document will not be distributed in lecture.

3. Register for ALEKS, the online homework system we will be using this semester, by following the instructions in the course info document or from the course website.  It is important that you complete the initial assessment at least one week before the first lecture so that you will have an ample amount of time to relearn some of the pre-requisite material that you may have forgotten.

4.  Purchase the required texts and materials listed in the course info document as well as the course website.  (Note: The list on the bookstore website is not up to date.)  Be sure to purchase your i>clicker now; we will be using the i>clicker on the first day of class.  Also, do not forget to purchase your goggles.  You will not be allowed to participate in the laboratory without goggles.

5.  Vote on at least one i>clicker question during the first week of lectures.  Then, complete the instructions for web-based registration of your i>clicker.  Proper registration is essential for matching your i>clicker votes to your name.  The instructions can be found in the course info & syllabus document as well as on the course website.  Note: The registration instructions are incorrect in the hardcopy of the General Chemistry (CHEM 112): Course Information & Syllabus document that is being distributed by the UIC bookstore.  View the revised instructions--essentially, use your UIN as your student ID--in the newest version of that document found on the course website.

6.  Carefully read the requirements and descriptions for keeping a laboratory notebook.  You will be required to turn in a Pre-Lab notebook entry before the start of your first laboratory session.  This means that you will have to carefully read the first experiment that will be completed on that day, The Floating Egg Problem, from the laboratory manual that must be purchased from the UIC bookstore.

Monday, November 9, 2009

CHEM 233 Final Exam

The CHEM 233 final exam is scheduled for Monday, December 7 in room 250 SES from 6:00-8:00 p.m. For more information, download the file "finalinfo_F09.pdf" from the orgo labs file sharing page. This document contains information on exam conflicts, policies, format and sample questions. It also has reminders for the lab notebook due date and the practical exam.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Lab 9 Revised Experimental Procedure

The experimental procedure for Lab 9 (diazo coupling) has been revised. The diazo coupling reaction will now be performed at reflux, which precludes the need for purging the reaction flask with nitrogen. You may download the revised procedure from the Shared Files page. This procedure replaces the one found in the course manual. Use the new procedure when writing your pre-lab entry. Sorry for the late notice.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Midterm Grades

This semester UIC has asked all instructors of 100- and 200-level courses to enter midterm grades. I have entered midterm grades for CHEM 233 so that you can make informed decisions about your work in this course. The midterm grade was determined from your scores on lab reports 1-6 and the midterm exam. You will be able to view your midterm grades using the Student Self Service Login at 5:10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23. Your TAs have also been given your your midterm grades and can provide you with your current percentage score in the course, which will give you a clearer picture of your standing. I have also posted the course curve and midterm curve on the Grades Fall 2009 page. For more information on midterm grades, visit the Office of Admissions and Records site. If you'd like to discuss your standing in this course, particularly what quality of work is required to achieve your goals, stop by during office hours (M,W,F; 12-2 p.m.).

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Midterm Exam Corrections

This semester I am instituting a new policy for making corrections to exams that have grading errors. If you suspect that an error has been made in grading your exam, first speak with your TA or myself to determine if in fact there is a grading error. If you are confident an error has been made, a formal letter must be written to me that clearly states the nature of the suspected error and the proposed adjustment in point value that will result from this correction. The letter and the original exam must be personally submitted to me in my office no later than 2 weeks from the date the exam was taken; these items may not be submitted to your TA. Original exams that are submitted for review will not be returned; be sure to make a photocopy for your records. For submission instructions and requirements, download the file "exam_corrections.pdf" from the Organic Chemistry Labs File Sharing Page.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Lab Report Stats Posted

The grading statistics for CHEM 233 are now posted on the Grades Fall 2009 page. I was hesitant to post these so early in the semester, but I did anyway since there have been several questions regarding lab report scores. Please do not over analyze these stats; currently, they only reflect the scores of the first two lab reports. They are meant to give you an approximate idea of how your scores compare to the rest of the class and how your TA's section average compares with the others. Remember, initially all sections are normalized to a 70% average (for lab reports only), which means that if your TA's lab report average is below 70% every student's lab report average will be raised until the section average is 70%. Likewise, if your TA's average is above 70%, every student's lab report average will be lowered until the section average is 70%. The stats will, of course, become more informational as more scores are added and when the scores of those students who have withdrawn have been removed. If you would like an individual detailed report of your grades, which will include your normalized lab report score, please stop by my office during office hours and I'd be happy to print one out for yo

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Spearmint Leaves Join Steam Distillation Lab

This semester I am making a slight change to the steam distillation experiment (Lab 5). In addition to isolating (S)-(+)-carvone from caraway seeds, you are also going to isolate (R)-(-)-carvone from spearmint leaves. For more details on this modification download the file "steamdist_modification.pdf" on the File Sharing page. You will work in groups of two. One member of the group will isolate (S)-(+)-carvone from caraway seeds, the other will isolate (R)-(-)-carvone from ground up spearmint leaves. The spearmint leaves I purchased are dried. Since I'm not sure how much carvone is present per gram of dried leaves, we may need to increase the starting mass of spearmint leaves. We'll see how the first lab section goes and then modify as necessary. Good luck. It should be a very fragrant lab.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Textbook on Reserve

Two copies of the CHEM 233 textbook have been placed on reserve in the Science Library (3500 SES; 312-996-5396). You may checkout the textbook for use in the library for a limited number of hours. Be sure to bring your UIC student ID.

Friday, August 28, 2009

IR 232 Lecture

For those of you interested in a more graphical presentation of infrared spectroscopy, I made one of my previous CHEM 232 lectures available on that topic. You may download Lecture 9 on the the CHEM 232 page. The IR material begins in the middle of that lecture. Remember, one of the keys to utilizing IR spectroscopy requires that you know your basic functional groups and the bond types that make up that group. At the minimum you should be able to draw an example of all of the functional groups that were presented in the IR Primer activity on the first day of lab.

There is also a nice presentation of IR on the 
Michigan State University website and the CU Boulder website. Both contain several examples and a straightforward discussion of IR theory. The CU Boulder page is a little more exhaustive; it describes numerous IR bands that can be identified for several functional groups.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lab Notebooks

Since there have been so many questions, I wanted to elaborate on what lab notebooks are acceptable for CHEM 233. The only requirement is that the notebook must be spiral-bound. No loose-leaf sheets will be counted toward the notebook grade at the end of the semester. It does not have to be an "authentic" notebook like those solid in the bookstore. Having said that, I do recommend that you purchase a lab notebook with carbon copies that you can tear out. If your notebook is lost or stolen, you will at least be able to present the carbon copies as proof that you completed the notebook. If you do not choose to go this route, then at least make a photocopy of your entries each week as a backup. While we're on the topic of notebooks, remember that it will be graded at the end of the semester according to the notebook grading rubric in the course manual. Look at this rubric now, so that you are completing your weekly entries correctly.

Monday, August 24, 2009

CHEM 233 Course Manual Has Arrived

The CHEM 233 course manual is now available at the UIC Bookstore (Student Center East).

Friday, August 21, 2009

CHEM 233 Course Manual

CHEM 233 Course Manual Arriving at the UIC Bookstore Soon!

There are two required texts for CHEM 233:

1. Gilbert, J.C.; Martin, S.F.
Experimental Organic Chemistry: A Miniscale and Macroscale Approach, 4th ed.; Brooks/Cole: Pacific Grove, CA, 2006. ISBN: 0-495-01334-X.

Landrie, C. Organic Chemistry Laboratory I: Lab Manual & Course Materials, Kendall-Hunt: 2009. ISBN: 978-0-7575-6240-2.

The second text above is currently being shipped and should be stocked in the bookstore by Tuesday, August 25, 2009. In the event that the lab manual is not available until the following week, the syllabus, front material and Lab One have been photocopied for you and will be distributed on the first day of class. You may also download that packet here. You will be responsible, however, for purchasing the lab manual before you complete Lab Two. Check back here for further updates on availability.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

CHEM 233 Final Exam

The summer 2009 CHEM 233 final exam will be on Thursday, August 6 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in room 250 SES. Please download the final exam handout for more information on exam conflict resolution, makeup exams, policies, format, practice questions, exam topics as well as important reminders for the practical exam.

Friday, January 9, 2009

OWL Help at SLC

Jackie and Erin from Cengage Learning will be available on Wednesday (Jan. 14) and Thursday (Jan. 15) from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm in the Science and Learning Center (201 SES) to help students get up and running with OWL and to answer any questions. Remember, your registration code can be found on the label that was distributed by your discussion section teaching assistant. If you registered for this course after Monday, January 5, then you will need to send me an email to obtain your registration code.