Integrated Foundation Courses

 In our new NSF-funded curriculum, we have dissolved the artifical boundaries that have separated the traditional subdisciplines of chemistry in organic, inorganic, analytical, physical and bio-chemistry.  Instead we have chosen to use the theme of chemical reactivity to combine one semester eacy of organic, inorganic and biochemistry into three new "reactivity" courses.  Likewise, we have combined one semester each of analytical and physical chemistry into two new "characterization" courses.  They are described below.

CHEM 250: Reactions of Nucleophiles and Electrophiles (Reactivity 1): 
An understanding of chemical reactivity is developed based on principles of Lewis acidity and basicity.  The formation, stability and reactivity of coordination complexes serves as an introduction to electrophilicity, nucleophilicity, and steric and electronic effects.   Investigations of carbonyl reactivity (addition and substitution) using analogous principles are used to develop pattern recognition skills in understanding chemical processes.  Some emphasis is placed on energetics as a basis of understanding reactivity.  Together, these topics lead to an understanding of simple biochemical pathways.  Applications of the material are drawn from organic, biological and inorganic chemistry.  Prerequisite:  Chem 125.  (in place)

CHEM 251: Intermediate Reactions of Nucleophiles and Electrophiles (Reactivity 2): 
An understanding of chemical reactivity, initiated in Reactivity 1, is further developed based on principles of Lewis acidity and basicity.  Alternative mechanisms of ligand substitution in coordination complexes are considered in terms of steric and electronic effects.  An understanding of kinetic evidence is developed in order to determine which mechanism has occurred in a particular case.   Organic nucleophilic substitution pathways are studied using analogous principles.  Electrophilic addition and substitution in pi systems (alkenes and aromatics) are used to extend these principles to new systems and complete an overview of polar reactions.  Applications of the material are drawn from organic, biological and inorganic chemistry.  Prerequisite:  Chem 250. (approved)

CHEM 255: Fundamentals of Macroscopic Chemical Analysis (submitted for approval on May 21, 2013):   

This course explores thermodynamic approaches to chemical equilibrium.  Emphasis on free energy as the driving force for chemical reactions will be developed through the quantitative analysis of chemical equilibria in simple as well as complex systems.  Statistical methods will be developed for the assessment of data.  Chemical systems in equilibrium as well as in dynamic situations will be studied.

CHEM 315:  Advanced Reactions (Reactivity 3): 

An understanding of chemical reactivity, developed in Reactivity 1 and 2, is extended to non-polar systems through the study of radical and pericyclic reactions.  Principles used in understanding nucleophiles and electrophiles are adapted to these systems.  Molecular orbital theory is exploited to explain a number of non-polar reactions.  With a firm understanding of an array of reactions in hand, a number of biochemical pathways are examined in detail.  The roles of enzyme catalysis, enzyme cofactors and regulatory pathways are also explored.    Prerequisite:  Chem 251. (approved)

 CHEM 318: Nanoscopic Chemical Analysis:

This semester will continue the exploration of chemical systems from a kinetic and quantum mechanical perspective.  Spectroscopy will be emphasized as one of the techniques that link theory with data.  Statistical methods will be developed for the assessment of instrumentation as well as a fundamental understanding of spectroscopic and chromatographic techniques used in the analysis and exploration of chemical properties. (will be submitted for approval in Fall 12)