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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Werner Kaminsky
CHEM 190
Seattle Campus

Freshman Discovery Seminar in Chemistry

Introduces incoming freshman to research basics and scholarly inquiry skills used in the study of chemistry.

Class description

In this seminar we will first hear about the basics of crystallography. We will dive into the world of crystals, their beautiful symmetries, and the technique of using X-rays to find out what crystals are made from. We will explore the mathematical tools to describe symmetry and structure solutions via X-rays with no specific prerequisite knowledge requirements. Learn about principals behind how atoms arrange to make stable crystals. Hands on experiences include working with real crystals, growing crystals, and using your own samples to derive a crystal structure via X-rays. Become fascinated for science and learn methods used to study atoms and how they bind. Further, learn to document, interpret, and publish complex scientific material. The skills gained will be found of high value throughout and beyond your time at the University.

Student learning goals

The group of students will develop a more concise picture of solids and crystals and the methods used to find the characteristics of minute objects like atoms and how they bind together to form such beautiful objects.

The goal is to educate the participants in the history and values of the ever growing field of material sciences.

Emphasis will be given to proper scientific documentation which will include the preparation of electronic publications of crystal structures via the path ways provided by the International Union of Crystallography, IUCr.

Students will understand the morphology of crystals.

Participants perform active structure determination "hands on" and learn to handle different computer systems as well as the nature of atomic structures.

Students will learn to work in groups on complex problems.

General method of instruction

The class will spend some time in a classroom, group discussions, and laboratory.

Recommended preparation

Non required

Class assignments and grading

Students will be assigned to a "report group" at the start of the seminar to work together on case assignments. Groups MAY be rearranged provided Werner and previous group members have been consulted.

Every student is invited to a hands-on lab experience. A plan will be arranged that allows each of the report groups to do work in the lab during specific times. In lab, students are expected to be attentive, engaged, and collaborative. Lab is usually the most fun and helpful part of this course, so enjoy! Even though X-rays are involved, the lab can be considered safe. Instructions on how to handle equipment with ionizing radiation will prelude the lab experience. Lab absences for religious, medical, or family emergency reasons must be discussed with Werner within ONE week of the missed lab in order for not losing credit associated with the lab.

Any time an assignment is due on a particular date students are expected to deliver promptly to earn their credits

This class will consist of 4 lectures (2 hours each) and one lab portion per week

Week Main Topic What's Due Lab 1 Atoms, Cryst.,symmetry nothing Measuring crystals, Growing crystals, Basics of Linux 2 X-rays and diffraction Symmetry exercise 40p Teams 1 & 2 mount crystals 3 Reciprocal lattice Diffraction paper 30p Teams 3 & 4 mount crystals 4 Solving Structure Space Group paper 30p Teams solve Structure Report 100p structures of own Final Exam 100p samples

Reading material will be distributed in class.

There will be one exam in the fourth week of the seminar. Exams are mixed format; questions will be of matching, multiple choice, and short answer formats. Every helping tool is permitted during exams, however you will not need those. The exam is cumulative in that material previously covered usually needs to be understood to show mastery of more recent material.

If necessary, there will be a make up exam. If there is an EMERGENCY precluding your attendance on the day of an exam you must notify Werner within 24 hours of the missed exam.

Grades are based on your final exam, exercises, and group homework (each having 100 points maximum). Please keep track of the points you are earning so that you can verify your status in the class.

Please note this class is NOT graded on a curve. You are competing against the following grade bins, not each other. Do not let this fact sneak up on you at the end of the Seminar!

Grade chart Points Percent Grade 285 300 95 100 4 270 284 90 94 3.5 3.9 255 269 85 89 3.0 3.4 240 244 80 84 2.5 2.9 225 239 75 79 2.0 2.4 210 224 70 74 1.5 1.9 195 219 65 69 1.0 1.4 180 194 60 64 0.7 0.9 Less than 180 Below 60 0


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
The X-ray facility page
Last Update by Werner Kaminsky
Date: 05/08/2013