One-semester (3 credit + lab + tutorial), freshman-level class that is a requirement for most science, engineering, and pre-professional majors. The courses cover the fundamental principles governing chemical structure and reactivity, including the quantum mechanical structure of atoms, models of chemical bonding, chemical equilibrium, acidity and basicity, thermochemistry and thermodynamics. They are accompanied by laboratory work and by a tutorial section.
One-semester, 3 credit, sophomore-level class that is required for all chemistry and biochemistry majors. It was originally developed to enhance the mathematical background of students leading up to the physical chemistry sequence that is taken in the junior year. The class provides chemistry and biochemistry majors with mathematical background, chemical context, and problem-solving methods for problems that involve multivariate calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, and probability and statistics.
One-semester, 1 credit, small seminar. This version of the chemistry seminar deals with some “big picture” topics in modern science, and each student presents on one topic during the semester.
A two-semester sequence (6 credits + lab) taken by all junior-level chemistry and biochemistry majors. The physical chemistry sequence is a set of challenging courses in the fundamentals of physical chemistry, including chemical thermodynamics, kinetics and the elements of atomic and molecular structure. We reverse the topic ordering compared with other institutions, placing an emphasis on the microscopic theory (quantum mechanics) in the first semester, and then building on this with the macroscopic theories (statistical mechanics, thermodynamics and chemical kinetics) in the following semester.
A one-semester (4 credit) science elective that is an overview of the chemical and physical processes that take place during the fermentation and distillation of alcoholic beverages. It provides the chemical concepts needed to understand the molecules, reactions, separations, and physical transformations during the production of wine, beer, and distilled spirits, but it also discusses fermentation in a broader culinary, cultural, and industrial context. Hands-on activities include: chemical analysis of sugars, sulfites, and titratable acidity of starting materials, initiation and monitoring of a fermentation process, distillation of a multicomponent solution, and analysis of the distillate at multiple stages of the process. Students also have the opportunity to tour off-campus facilities, including a working winery and distillery.
Statistical mechanics is a core course for physical chemistry and chemical engineering graduate students. The topics covered include: the foundations of statistical mechanics, including introductions to chemically relevant ensembles; thermodynamics; partition functions; chemical equilibria; quantum statistics; spin glasses and chemical kinetics. The course also covers topics not traditionally covered in basic statistical mechanics courses such as liquid theory, glassy materials, protein folding, and computer simulation methods.
This is an advanced graduate course aimed at physical chemistry and chemical engineering graduate students. The topics covered include: spin-lattice models, atomic and continuum models for fluids, free energy perturbation theories, electron transfer, quantum statistical mechanics, rare event sampling, path integral theories, tunneling, Ising/Quantum correspondence and biased Monte Carlo methods.
This is a chemically oriented survey of quantum mechanics at an intermediate level. The subjects that are discussed include quantum mechanical operators, commutator relations, angular momentum, central field problems, harmonic oscillators, and approximation methods. It is the core course that all entering physical chemistry graduate students take to prepare for research, although advanced undergraduates also occasionally enroll.
This class is taught to a mixed group of graduate and undergraduate students from organic chemistry, biochemistry, physical chemistry, and across the college of engineering. The course is an overview of the fundamental theory, methodology, and applications of computational chemistry. Topics include simulation techniques such as molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo. Every fourth meeting of the class is a hands-on practical lab. The computer labs cover a wide range of topics, including operating systems, text editors, programming, and software packages such as Avogadro, OpenMD, and Packmol. This version of the course emphasized force-field based approaches such as molecular modeling, molecular dynamics, Monte Carlo sampling, and minimization methods.