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.
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?
We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.
- Walt Disney
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!
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?
We are excited to announce our next VIPEr summer workshop!
Our focus is changing slightly from past workshops, but we will still follow our successful model of having (mostly) PUI/teaching faculty interact directly with primarily research R1 faculty to build content pieces for the classroom based on their research.
This past fall, a bumper crop of junior and senior chemistry majors enrolled in my inorganic laboratory course. In fact, we had enough student interest that we had to open a second weekly 4-hour lab section. The combined group of 18 students ran five experiments of my choosing and then spent two weeks at the end of the semester engaged in nine different independent projects. (See my syllabus LO describing the course here.)
Good news! The new NSF grant allows us to bring back the popular summer content building workshops. Since the focus of the new grant is on development of a sophomore inorganic curriculum, the content workshops will be largely in support of curricular development for that course.