The University of Missouri at Columbia
Chemistry 210 - Organic Chemistry I - Winter Semester 1999

Instructor Professor Rainer Glaser
Office 48 Chemistry Building
Telephone (573) 882-0331
Chemistry 210 Course Web Site
Lecture MWF 9:00 - 9:50, Ellis Auditorium
First Lecture Monday, January 11
Office Hours MWF 10:00-10:30
Course Content Wade 4/e, Organic Chemistry, Chapters 1-14

Organic Chemistry
A Brief Introduction By Example

A very simple piece of DNA is shown. Understanding DNA is of interest to many areas including Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biology, Medicine, ... and of course Philosophy. To begin to understand anything about this very special molecule we need to analyze the molecule and then test hypotheses we have come up with.

recognize building blocs and functional groups
properties of building blocs and functional groups
connections between building blocs
polymerization of monomer
3d-stereochemistry of building blocs, monomers, polymers
structure determination

The Four Pillars of Modern Chemistry

In the modern view of chemistry, Experimentation, Theory & Computing, and Data Analysis are the three equally important sources of hypotheses and their testing grounds. The fourth pillar comprises the ensemble of Learning Methods.

About Learning in Customary Educational Settings

Similarly, no one has been able to confirm any certain limits to the speed with which man can learn. Schools and universities have usually been organized as if to suggest that all students learn at about the same rather plodding and regular speed. But, whenever the actual rates at which different people learn have been tested, nothing has been found to justify such an organization. Not only do individuals learn at vastly different speeds and in different ways, but man seems capable of astonishing feats of rapid learning when the attendant circumstances are favourable. It seems that, in customary educational settings, one habitually uses only a tiny fraction of one's learning capacities. [ Emphasis ours]

Excerpt from the Encyclopaedia Britannica

Complexities of Human Learning

Human learning is complex rather than simple. Learners are apt to learn more than one thing at a time. Sometimes this process is conscious, as when one simultaneously or rapidly assimilates many specific items of a whole. More often, the process is entirely or partly unconscious, as when the student learns some "content" consciously but at the same time absorbs unwittingly a great deal more from interrelationships, tones of voice, and so on.

Educators are therefore becoming increasingly concerned with these concomitant learnings. They are aware that the long-term significance of the arithmetical skill that the student consciously learns may be nugatory compared with the importance of what he learns about himself as a learner, about his capacities and limits, about his relationship with his teacher, about power and authority, about his relationships with his fellow students, about equality, collaboration, competition, and friendship. As educators become more knowledgeable about the importance of learning climates, they are impelled to abandon simplified techniques of teaching in favour of a more complex approach that views learning in the context of a matrix of relationships and forces that act upon the student, the teacher, the school, and the community.

Excerpt from the Encyclopaedia Britannica

Aristotle's World

Aristotle (384-322 BC) was very wrong ... we are getting better but beware!

Course Materials I. Books and Model Sets.

(1) Required Text: Organic Chemistry, Leroy G. Wade, Jr.; 4th ed., PRENTICE HALL, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458, 1999. ISBN 0-13-922741-5. Cost: $102.70 (at MU Bookstore). The Wade 4/e books have arrived 1/12/99.

(2) Optional study guide: Study Guide and Solutions Manual for Organic Chemistry, Jan W. Simek; 4th ed., PRENTICE HALL, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458, 1999. ISBN 0-13-974023-6. Cost: $52 (at MU Bookstore). The Study Guides for Wade 4/e have arrived 1/20/99.

(3) Recommended (highly) model set: HGS Molecular Model Set, C Set for Organic Chemistry, W. H. Freeman and Company. ISBN 0-7167-1972-X. Cost: $32.

(4) Potential Study Option: Organic Nomenclature - A Programmed Introduction, Traynham, J. G., 5th Ed., Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458. ISBN0-13-270752-7. Cost: $26.

(5) Potential Study Option: Pushing Electrons - A Guide for Students of Organic Chemistry, Weeks, S. P., 2nd ed., Updated version, Saunders College Publishing, Harcourt Brace & Company, 8th Floor, Orlando, Florida, 32887. ISBN 0-03-011652-X. Cost: $16.75.

(6) Potential Study Option: Electron Flow in Organic Chemistry, Scudder, P. H., John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1992. ISBN 0-471-61381-9. Cost: $__.

Course Materials II. Resources of the World Wide Web.

Inside and outside of the classroom, we will make extensive use of the world wide web as a tool for instruction. The current news items, the visualization centers and the reaction animations all are web based. In addition, the collaborative semester projects as well as the honors' section projects will involve online research using the WWW and posting of the resulting report on the WWW.


You should be familiar with the concepts and principles discussed in general chemistry, that is, having passed Chem 32 with a grade of C- or better. Students who have had Chem 115, 205, Biochem 110 or equivalent can receive only 1 hour credit in Chem 210.


I. Lectures

It is very important that you come to class well prepared! Do read the background material before it is covered in class. The lecture will be much more beneficial to you if you do. One of the advantages of being well prepared is simply that you need to write much less during the lecture and, instead, you will be able to follow the lecture intellectually. After the lecture, read the material again and test yourself, possibly in small groups. If uncertainties remain, review the material again or come to see the TA during office hours.

II. Exercises - Problems and Online Studies

Problems: We will be working a selection of the problems in the textbook. Assignments will be posted on the Chemistry 210 Course Web Site. You are not required to return the answers. To work on the problems is is one of the main purposes of the review/discussion sections.

Online Exercises: You will be engaged in four types of online exercises: The study of the news items, the study of molecular structures in the visualization centers, the study of reactions animations, and the browsing of a variety of chemistry related links. Note that the list of chemistry related links is permanently under construction. Feel free to tell me about sites you would like to have added.

III. Collaborative Semester Projects and Peer Review

The semester projects will be pursued by small groups of students (5-6 students).

The establishment of relevance is an important co-factor in the learning process. A excellent way to establish the relevance of the content of Chemistry 210 is by way of connecting the course content to news items of current interest. To construct this connection and the creation of a relatyed problem assignment are the subject of the Project Assignment.

The Collaborative Semester Projects will be evaluated via peer review. Aside from learning content, you will be learning how to judge / be judged via peer review. Your ability to prevail in peer review will, certainly no less than content knowledge, affect your success in future.

IV. Reviews - Discussion List

If necessary and desired, discussion/review sessions will be scheduled in the evening in order to fit in with your schedules. These sessions are intended to serve three purposes: First, further discussion of the more difficult topics presented in class (not additional material), secondly, discussions of problems, and - most importantly - general Q&A and problem solving strategies. Dates will be announced in class as required. See also link reviews.

To encourage discussions amongst yourselves, you will be subscribed to a Chemistry_210 discussion list. Details about the discussion lists will be given in lecture. See also links to showme accounts and discussion list.

Examinations and Grading

The Greek philosopher Socrates argued that the unexamined life is not worth living. He is right. Accordingly, there will be three 1-hour-examinations (100 points each), one collaborative group project (100 points assigned by peer review), and the comprehensive final (200 points). A maximum of 600 points can be earned. The 1-hour-examinations all are on Fridays. The tests will focus on the materials covered recently, but it is expected that you recall the fundamentals of previously studied chapters. Purpose and details about the collaborative group projects are described on a separate web page. There will be no quizzes.

In previous years, no grades were assigned to individual tests. After each examination a graph was generated representing the performance of the class and this graph enabled the students to assess their relative performances. After completion of the 1-hour-examinations and the group projects and before the final examination, the students were informed about the point/grade relation. Grades were assigned based on the average of the class and the class distribution. In a previous semester, for example, with a course average of 59 percent, the following cuts were used: Grade A (14.9%) above 76 %, B grade (22.6%) above 64 %, C grade (35.1 %) above 50 %, and so on. Plus/minus grades were given within this framework. A+ for the top 3 percent. You can check out the histograms and grade assignments for Chemistry 210 from previous semester to see how this worked out.

Beginning with the WS99, the grading will change to an absolute grading scheme. Grading will now be based on competency rather than competition. The following cuts will be used: Grade A above 85 %, grade B above 70 %, grade C above 55 %, and grade D above 40 %.

Deadlines for submissions of semester projects and for the submission of peer reviews are specified on the assignments and also can be found on the Chemistry 210 Schedule. Unless there exists a good reason, submissions received after the deadline will not be graded and automatically receive a score of zero points.

In concert with the policy of the Department of Chemistry, there will be no make up exams. If a test is missed for a legitimate reason (sickness and the like with some type of acceptable written proof), a score will be determined for this missed test that is based on your average overall performance. If you know in advance, that you will not be able to take an exam for a certain reason, talk to the instructor before the date of that test. If you do miss a test without a legitimate reason, you will receive a score of zero points for that test.

Time and date of the final examination are determined by Article V of the Academic Regulations which are designed to protect students from irregularities in the administration of final examinations. The following two excerpts from Article V are relevant to this graduate class. (1) No teacher will hold an examination during any time other than the regular meeting time of the class or the time as approved by the Registrar for both final and multi-section examinations. The only exception is that examinations in courses numbered 400 and above may be conducted at any time agreeable to both the teacher and the students. (2) No examination may be held during Stop Day.

Academic Honesty

Academic honesty is fundamental to activities and principles of a university. All members of the academic community must be confident that each person's work has been responsibly and honorably acquired, developed, and presented. Any effort to gain an advantage not given to all students is dishonest whether or not the effort is successful. The academic community regards academic dishonesty as an extremely serious matter, with serious consequences that range from probation to expulsion. When in doubt about plagiarism, paraphrasing, quoting, or collaboration, consult the course instructor. Proven academic dishonesty will be reported to the Provost for Academic Affairs and the student's Dean.

Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act

If you have special needs as addressed by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and need accommodations (for example, extended testing time, note takers, large print materials), please inform your instructor privately as soon as possible. In most circumstances, students with disabilities seeking academic accommodations should also register with the Access Office, A048 Brady Commons, 882-4696. As necessary, the Access Office will review documentation about your disability and about the need for accommodations you are requesting. The Access office will then assist in planning for any necessary accommodations.

Excellence is a Habit