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.)