22 May 2014

TUES 2013 Workshop LOs in Action

Submitted by Elizabeth Jamieson, Smith College

I just finished teaching our 2nd semester general chemistry course.  For most Smith students, this is their last course in our introductory sequence; they are taking the class as 2nd semester sophomores (our sequence goes gen chem 1, organic 1, organic 2, and gen chem 2).  Officially this class is called "Introduction to Inorganic and Physical Chemistry," but since we've moved coordination compounds to gen chem 1, it's been very light in the inorganic part for the past couple of years.  So, I decided to bring a bit of solid state chemistry into the class this year using materials from our 2

22 Apr 2014

An update on X-ray

Submitted by Chip Nataro, Lafayette College

I've previously posted on a wonderful lab that can be found here on VIPEr. The lab describes the synthesis of zinc oxide nanoparticles which are then characterized by powder XRD. One of the wonderful aspects of VIPEr is the interaction of the community. And for me, to be able to try out this lab, and then get insight and feedback from the author was incredibly useful.

18 Apr 2014

A Graphical Approach to Ligand Group Orbitals

Submitted by Adam R. Johnson, Harvey Mudd College

It would be an understatement to say that I fell in love with molecular orbital theory as an undergraduate. My inorganic professor at Oberlin College, Marty Ackermann, introduced us to SALCs and group theory. Two years later, I plowed through all the math in Cotton’s book at MIT and then I got to (yes, GOT to) TA the course two of the following three years (LC member Betsy Jamieson was one of my first students). My approach to MO theory and LGO generation is intuitive and graphical.

15 Apr 2014

New look, same great feature

Submitted by Flo, Slytherin' State

Hopefully you've noticed the fancy new logo for our BITeS feature. I would like to thank my friends Hilary Eppley and Lori Watson for their efforts in the redesign. So far I have really enjoyed reading the various posts that have appeared in BITeS. I'll let you the reader in on a little bit of inside information. When the idea of BITeS was first proposed, it took a bit of convincing to get the full support of the leadership council. So our initial logo was very low tech.

9 Apr 2014

IONiC does Dallas

Submitted by Sheila Smith, University of Michigan- Dearborn

For the sixth consecutive year, IONiC sponsored a successful symposium at the Spring National ACS Meeting Focused on Undergraduate Research at the Frontiers of Inorganic Chemistry.  We also continued to be a significant percentage of the DIC programming at the Meeting with approximately 10% of the DIC presentations/posters falling into our symposium.  Along with our colleagues from various institutions who presented the fruits of their labors with undergraduate students in the research lab, we were able to provide an opportunity for several talented undergraduates (and one absolutely amazin

31 Mar 2014

Organometallic reactions via student skits

Submitted by Lori Watson, Earlham College

I’m a big fan of getting students up out of their chairs and moving around during lecture.  I’m not altogether convinced they learn concepts we act out better than ones we don’t, but they sure enjoy it more!  This week in my Inorganic course we were doing a quick overview of organometallic reaction types and catalytic cycles.  It was a particularly cold, grey, rainy day and a number of my students were all pretty tired from studying for their Senior Comprehensive exams.  They were supposed to have read all about different organometallic reactions from their text, but it was clear in about 2

12 Mar 2014

Hanging out with group theory

Submitted by Anne Bentley, Lewis & Clark College

Six group theory enthusiasts met in cyberspace in February to share our passion for the subject and compare notes about our approaches to teaching it.  The courses taught by attendees ranged, predictably, from sophomore level to graduate.  Advice and examples flew in all directions.  Favorite textbooks included Carter (, Harris & Bertolucci (needs a review, not recommended for MO theory), and Hargitt


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