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.