VIPEr BITeS

  • 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

  • 23 Mar 2014

    DIC opportunities

    Submitted by Stephen Koch, SUNY Stony Brook

    Thanks to the undergraduate inorganic community for another very successful symposium in the Inorganic division at the ACS meeting.  I have a request.  If you are going to be at a national ACS meeting and would like to chair a session, please email 

  • 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 (https://www.ionicviper.org/textbook/molecular-symmetry-and-group-theory-robert-l-carter), Harris & Bertolucci (needs a review, not recommended for MO theory), and Hargitt

  • 8 Mar 2014

    Remembering where my students are

    Submitted by Barbara Reisner, James Madison University

    I’m teaching the first semester of inorganic chemistry for the first time in nearly 10 years. I’d forgotten how much fun this class is! In that amount of time, I also have forgotten where my students are…

  • 7 Mar 2014

    Intersecting Chemistry and Art

    Submitted by Elizabeth Jamieson, Smith College

    This semester I’m co-teaching our CHM 100:  Chemistry of Art Objects course for the first time.  This class is designed for non-majors and is co-taught with David Dempsey, the Associate Director for Museum Services at the Smith College Museum of Art.  We have 15 students in the class; many of them are not science majors and have little to no chemistry background.  My role is to teach the essential chemical concepts, while David focuses on the application of chemistry in art materials.

  • 27 Feb 2014

    A Game with Orbital Cutouts

    Submitted by Nancy Scott Burke Williams, Scripps College, Pitzer College, Claremont McKenna College

    So, I've just tried something for the first time in our AISS course (Accelerated Integrated Science Sequence) to teach the idea of bonding overlap, andtibonding overlap, and orthogonal (non-bonding) interactions. 

  • 21 Feb 2014

    Dallas announcement

    Submitted by Flo, Slytherin' State

    Howdy y'all. Flo here. I am busy getting all set for the upcoming ACS meeting in Dallas. During the meeting we will be celebrating that most evil of holidays, St. Patrick's Day. Celebrating the person that drove my ancestors from Ireland just sends shivers down my spine (a very serious thing for a snake). So while you partake in a day of revelry, I will be holding a quiet vigil in honor of all things serpentine.

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