• 10 May 2018

    Student Recognition - 2018 ACS DIC Undergrad Award in Inorganic Chemistry

    Submitted by Barbara Reisner, James Madison University

    Graduation always leaves me in a reflective mood. It's a thrill to watch our graduates march across a stage and think about all of the things they've accomplished over the last four years. It also made me remember that I needed to submit the form for JMU's nominee for the 2018 ACS Division of Inorganic Chemistry Undergraduate Award in Inorganic Chemistry!

  • 2 May 2018

    Symbols in element names

    Submitted by Chip Nataro, Lafayette College

    Perhaps you noticed the poll about element symbols in names and were curious as to the answer. Well, given the need for a new BITeS post and my ability to think at this point in the semester, here are the answers. As a refresher, the question was, how many elements have element symbols in the middle of their names? For elements with an odd number of letters in their names the symbol must be the middle letter while for elements with an even number of letters in their names the middle two letters must be a symbol. I've made the symbols bold and inserted captial letters where appropriate.

  • 12 Apr 2018

    Postdoc Position in Inorganic Chemistry Education

    Submitted by Jeffrey R. Raker, University of South Florida

    The Interactive Online Network of Inorganic Chemists ( has an opening for a Research Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of South Florida (Tampa, Florida) with a focus on transforming postsecondary inorganic chemistry courses into more active and engaging learning experiences.

  • 11 Apr 2018

    Let's talk about...

    Submitted by Chip Nataro, Lafayette College

    It's natural.

    It's chemical.

    It's logical.

  • 5 Apr 2018

    We are experiencing technical difficulties

    Submitted by Flo, Slytherin' State

    Greetings my loyal snakelings. If you tried to register for an account in the past day or so, or if you do so for the next little while, I just wanted to let you know we are dealing with a little bit of an issue. You can read more of the technobabble below. This issue seems to be impacting the creation of new accounts and it might also lead to a little more junk hitting the site for the next little bit.

  • 26 Mar 2018

    Symmetry Challenge -- 2018 RECAP!

    Submitted by Adam R. Johnson, Harvey Mudd College

    The 2018 Symmetry challenge has come to a close. I wanted to give a big thank you to all 14 of the participants, representing four different institutions. Sadly, I have to report that, yet again, no one from my class submitted the challenge. Perhaps the stakes were too low... er... should I say the "snakes" were too low?

  • 8 Mar 2018

    Encoiling the Big Easy

    Submitted by Flo, Slytherin' State

    Ahhhhhh, New Orleans. I have such mixed feelings about this city. It's a wonderful place. Great food, exciting atmosphere, bottomless hurricanes, and, more important for our community, it is the site where Adam Johnson pushed the big red button that officially launced VIPEr to the web. Why do I have mixed feelings? It's also the place that Chip Nataro decided that I could be an accessory during his talks. If snakes could shudder, I would. In a little over a week we will be decending on New Orleans for the third time!

  • 27 Feb 2018

    In early February I was teaching vibrational motion in water using vibrational mode analysis and group theory. I remember learning about vibrational modes as an undergraduate and I remember distinctly feeling uneasy about it. Why can’t water just vibrate one of the two OH bonds at a time? What is it that forces the linear combination of the two OH stretches into the symmetric and antisymmetric stretches?