Math Methods


Dan Gezelter
phone: 631-7595
office: 258 Stepan Chemistry

Teaching Assistant:

Ms. Shelby Brantley
Office hours will be held in 235 Nieuwland Hall


MWF 11:30 - 12:20
114 Pasquerilla Center

Office Hours:

Mondays, 5-6 PM   Ms. Brantley (235 Nieuwland)
Tuesdays, 11AM - 12PM   Ms. Brantley (235 Nieuwland)
Wednesdays, 9:30-10:30 AM   Professor Gezelter (258 Stepan)
Wednesdays, 4-5 PM   Professor Gezelter (258 Stepan)
Thursdays, 4-5 PM   Professor Gezelter (258 Stepan)

Optional Problem / Review Session:

Thursdays, 6:15-7:15 PM, 310 Jordan Hall of Science

Web page:


Homework (weekly):   25%
Midterm 1 :   22.5%
Midterm 2 :   22.5%
Final (Cumulative):   30%
Extra Credit:   10%

After each exam you will be provided with a cumulative letter grade to keep you informed of your performance in the course.


Midterm 1: Friday, February 16, 2018
Midterm 2: Friday, March 23, 2018
Final Exam: Wednesday, May 9, 2018, 4:15 - 6:15 PM

For each midterm exam you will be allowed to prepare and use one 8.5 x 11 sheet of notes (front-side only). On the final exam, three pages will be allowed. In addition, you will be allowed to use a calculator on all exams. The midterm exams will not be cumulative, but the final exam will cover material from the entire course.

Whenever we finish a block of material, we will be posting lecture notes on the course web page.

Problem Sets:

Approximately ten problem sets with Friday due dates will be assigned. Collaboration is encouraged; however, before collaborating with your classmates, you should make an honest and significant effort to work through each problem on your own, and the problems set solutions must be written-up individually. Do not copy or paraphrase any one else's work without giving proper credit. The use of online homework solution services (e.g. cramster) will be considered a violation of the Honor code.

Computational Labs: On every other Monday, we will be doing an in-class computational practical exercise. The purpose of these practical exercises is to make you comfortable with numerical concepts that are important to working chemists, and to familiarize yourselves with common tools for working with and visualizing quantitative information. There will also be homework problems related to these computational exercises that will extend your familiarity and comfort with these tools (Mathematica, Avogadro, and QtGrace).

Mathematica is available on PC and Mac clusters on campus, and it can also be obtained free of charge from the Office of Information Technologies website (you will be prompted for your NetID and password):

The other programs we will be using are free (and open source) downloads:

  • QtGrace
    - a 2-d plotting and fitting program (Windows, Mac, and Linux versions available).
  • Avogadro
    - a molecular editor and visualization tool (Windows, Mac, and Linux versions available).

Please download and install all of these packages (Mathematica, QtGrace, Avogadro) to your laptops
before the first Computational Lab (Monday January 21st).

A note about Extra Credit: Problem sets may contain one or more "extra credit" problems which are somewhat more difficult than the others. Extra credit points are explicitly off the curve to encourage collaborative problem solving on these problems. By doing these harder, optional problems, you can earn enough extra credit during the semester to increase your score by a full letter grade.

Problem Set Late Policy: Problem sets are due by 5:00 PM on Friday. A problem set that is turned in before the following Wednesday at 5:00 PM will receive half-credit. Problem sets will not be accepted after 5:00 PM on the Wednesday following its original due date. In addition, each student will receive one "no questions asked" extension during the semester, whereby you may turn a problem set in by Monday at 5:00 PM for full-credit. Computational assignments will not be accepted late without prior permission.

I'll be posting the problem sets on the problem set web page each week.