Chemistry (CHEM)

CHEM-101 General Chemistry I

Fall. Credits: 4

This course provides introduction and development of fundamental concepts including stoichiometry, reactions in aqueous solutions, thermochemistry, atomic structure, chemical bonding, and acid-base reactions. The laboratory emphasizes basic skills, quantitative chemical measurements, and principles discussed in lectures.

Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
J. Ashby, W. Chen, M. Gomez
Coreq: CHEM-101L.

CHEM-160 Integrated Introduction to Biology and Chemistry

Fall. Credits: 4

This 8-credit course serves as a gateway to both the biology and chemistry core curricula. The course introduces and develops fundamental concepts in chemistry while also exploring the diverse range of strategies adopted by living systems to survive in different environments. This course prepares students for further study in chemistry (Chemistry 201) and/or biology (Biology 200). Students must register for both Biology 160 and Chemistry 160 as well as a single lab section (listed under Chemistry 160). Recommended for students interested in completing pre-health requirements or advanced study in biochemistry or neuroscience.

Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
A. van Giessen
Restrictions: This course is limited to first-year students.
Coreq: BIOL-160 and CHEM-160L.
Notes: Students must co-enroll in Biology 160 and Chemistry 160 for a total of 8 credits; three 50 minute lectures, three 75 minute lectures, and one three-hour laboratory per week.

CHEM-199 Introduction to Research

Spring. Credits: 4

This seminar is for first-year students who have a strong interest in the chemical sciences and will help to prepare them for scientific research. Students will be exposed to various research topics through reading, discussing, presenting, and writing about primary literature and attending selected department seminars. Throughout the semester students will carry out one research-style project in order to gain experience with the multifaceted nature of scientific inquiry. To jump start their research career on campus, each student will arrange meetings with at least two science faculty followed by a presentation and a written description on the faculty members' research topics.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
W. Chen
Restrictions: This course is limited to first-year students.
Instructor permission required.
Prereq: MATH-101.
Advisory: Students must take Chemistry 201 concurrently.

CHEM-201 General Chemistry II

Spring. Credits: 4

This course provides background in basic principles of physical, analytical, and inorganic chemistry essential to the study of all chemical phenomena. Topics include elementary principles of molecular electronic structure, quantitative treatment of chemical equilibrium with applications to solubility, acid-base, and electron transfer reactions, introduction to chemical kinetics and thermodynamics, and the chemistry of coordination compounds. Laboratory experiments will include classical analytical and kinetic techniques, preparation of inorganic compounds, and an introduction to ab initio electronic structure calculations.

Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
M. Gomez, A. van Giessen
Restrictions: This course is limited to First-year and Sophomore students.
Prereq: CHEM-101 or CHEM-160 with C or better grade. Coreq: CHEM-201L.

CHEM-202 Organic Chemistry I

Fall. Credits: 4

Introduces organic chemistry, emphasizing the principles governing broad classes of reactions. Topics include stereochemistry, nucleophilic substitution and elimination reactions, the chemistry of alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, alcohols, and ethers, and an introduction to infrared and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Laboratory work includes synthesis, practice in the techniques of distillation, crystallization, chromatography, molecular modeling, and identifying unknown organic compounds by chemical and spectroscopic means.

Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
D. Hamilton, K. McMenimen
Prereq: CHEM-201 with grade of C or better. Coreq: CHEM-202L.

CHEM-208 Introduction to Materials

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course provides an introduction to different types of materials, including metals, ceramics, polymers and composites, emphasizing structure and property relationships. The principles behind the design and implementation of materials as well as advances in materials in the areas of nano-,bio- and electronic technology will be presented. Class time is split among lecture, discussion and laboratory.

Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
W. Chen
Prereq: CHEM-201, PHYS-110, and MATH-101. Coreq: CHEM-208L.

CHEM-212 Chemistry of Biomolecules

Spring. Credits: 4

An examination of the major ideas of biochemistry from the point of view of the chemical sciences rather than the life sciences. Structures of important biomolecules. The role of energetics and reaction dynamics in biochemical processes. Major metabolic pathways are considered, including those of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids.

Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
K. McMenimen
Prereq: CHEM-202.
Notes: This course is not intended for Biochemistry majors, who must complete Biochemistry 311 and 314. First priority will be given to sophomores and juniors.

CHEM-213 Chemistry of Biomolecules with Lab

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

An examination of the major ideas of biochemistry from the point of view of the chemical sciences rather than the life sciences. Structures of important biomolecules. The role of energetics and reaction dynamics in biochemical processes. Major metabolic pathways are considered, including those of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids.

Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
K. McMenimen
Prereq: CHEM-202. Coreq: CHEM-213L.
Notes: This course is not intended for Biochemistry majors, who must complete Biochemistry 311 and 314. First priority will be given to sophomores and juniors.

CHEM-223 Analytical Chemistry

Spring. Credits: 4

This course serves as an introduction to quantitative analytical chemistry, with a combined emphasis on both classical analysis tools and fundamental instrumentation for the analytical chemist. Topics to be covered include figures of merit, statistical and error analysis, volumetric and gravimetric titrations, as well as commonly used sample preparation and analyte separation methods.In the laboratory, students will apply techniques covered in lecture to quantitation of analytes commonly seen in pharmaceutical, forensic, chemical and biological settings, as well as learn the fundamentals of method development and optimization.

Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
J. Ashby
Prereq: CHEM-201. Coreq: CHEM-223L.

CHEM-224 Lab in Analytical Chemistry

CHEM-224AR Lab in Analytical Chemistry: 'Art Analysis'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 1

This course introduces concepts of analytical chemistry under the theme of 'Chemistry in Art'. The topics of quantitative chemical analysis and instrumental analysis are discussed through hands-on observation based experiments in collaboration with the Mount Holyoke College art museum. Experimental techniques -- such as gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, X-ray fluorescence, UV visible spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscopy -- are incorporated for the analysis of paintings and art objects.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
H. Jayathilake
Instructor permission required.
Prereq: CHEM-201 or 202 previously or concurrently.

CHEM-226 Poisons: Death by Chemistry

Fall. Credits: 4

This course will look at the effect of poisons at the molecular, cellular, and physiological levels from the chemistry and biochemistry perspective. We will discuss: the classification of poisons and the common structural elements of the molecules within each class; the interaction of toxic molecules with proteins and nucleic acids present in the cell; the physiologic effect of toxins on different systems of the body; dosage effects and pharmacokinetics; the mechanisms by which antidotes work; and the analytical techniques that toxicologists use to determine which poisons are present in the body. The different classes of proteins will be discussed in the context of historical case studies.

Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
A. van Giessen
Instructor permission required.
Prereq: CHEM-201 with grade of C or better.
Advisory: When emailing the instructor to request permission for this class, be sure to include your class year.

CHEM-231 Inorganic Chemistry

Fall. Credits: 4

An introduction to the chemistry of elements. Topics include atomic structure and periodicity, symmetry, bonding theory, chemistry of the main-group elements and coordination chemistry. Laboratory introduces computational, preparative, and spectroscopic techniques.

Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
D. Cotter
Prereq: CHEM-201. Coreq: CHEM-231L.

CHEM-295 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 4

The department
Instructor permission required.
Notes: Note: Students conducting an independent laboratory research project for course credit in a department, program, or laboratory covered by the College's chemical hygiene plan must participate in a safety training session before beginning research. Cou

CHEM-302 Organic Chemistry II

Spring. Credits: 4

A continuation of Chemistry 202 that addresses the chemistry of aromatic compounds, the carbonyl group, and a number of other functional groups. Examples drawn from compounds of biological interest. The laboratory includes organic synthesis and the identification of unknown compounds by chemical and spectroscopic means.

Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
D. Cotter, K. McMenimen
Prereq: CHEM-202 with grade of C or better. Coreq: CHEM-302L.

CHEM-304 Advanced Organic Chemistry Laboratory

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 1

This half-semester course, starting after spring break, applies and builds upon the techniques and tools of synthetic organic chemistry acquired during previous laboratory classes. Experiments will be selected to provide exposure to contemporary synthetic methods, to offer examples of the application of sophisticated reagents, to afford practice in modern separation and purification approaches, and provide scope for hands-on acquisition of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectra.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
The department
Instructor permission required.
Coreq: CHEM-302.
Notes: Second half of semester

CHEM-307 Chemical Thermodynamics

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

A consideration of the contribution of thermodynamics to the understanding of 'driving forces' for the physical chemical changes and the nature of the equilibrium state.

Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
W. Chen
Prereq: MATH-102, PHYS-110, and CHEM-202 with grade of C or better.

CHEM-308 Chemical Thermodynamics with Lab

Fall. Credits: 4

A consideration of the contribution of thermodynamics to the understanding of the 'driving forces' for physical chemical changes and the nature of the equilibrium state.

Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
M. Gomez
Prereq: MATH-102, PHYS-110, and CHEM-202 with grade of C or better. Coreq: CHEM-308L.

CHEM-311 Protein Biochemistry and Cellular Metabolism

Fall. Credits: 4

This course is a rigorous introduction to the study of protein molecules and their role as catalysts of the cell. Topics include general principles of protein folding, protein structure-function correlation, enzyme kinetics and mechanism, carbohydrate and lipid biochemistry, and metabolic pathways (catabolic and anabolic) and their interaction and cross-regulation. Biological transformation of energy is considered in light of the principle of thermodynamics.

Crosslisted as: BIOCH-311, BIOL-311
Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
K. Berry
Restrictions: This course is limited to Biochemistry majors only.
Prereq: BIOL-230 (or BIOL-210) and CHEM-302. Coreq: CHEM-311L.
Advisory: Biological Sciences 230 can be taken concurrently

CHEM-314 Nucleic Acids Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Spring. Credits: 4

This course is an in-depth examination of DNA and RNA structures and how these structures support their respective functions during replication, transcription, and translation of the genetic material. Emphasis is on the detailed mechanisms associated with each step of gene expression. Discussions incorporate many recent advances brought about by recombinant DNA technology.

Crosslisted as: BIOCH-314, BIOL-314
Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
K. Berry
Restrictions: This course is limited to Biochemistry majors only.
Prereq: BIOCH-311, BIOL-311, or CHEM-311. Coreq: CHEM-314L.
Advisory: Chemistry 302 can be taken concurrently

CHEM-316 Chemical Biology

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

The field of chemical biology applies chemical perspectives and tools to the study of biological systems. In this course, we will examine the ways that synthetic chemistry has provided techniques that support, complement, and expand on those used in biochemistry, drug discovery, and molecular and cell biology. Topics may include solid phase biomolecule synthesis, combinatorial chemistry, bioconjugation, molecular probes, protein engineering, drug delivery, and synthetic biology.

Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
K. Broaders
Prereq: CHEM-302 and any other 300-level chemistry or biochemistry course.

CHEM-317 Principles of Polymer Chemistry

Spring. Credits: 4

An introduction to the study of molecules of high molecular weights with emphasis on synthetic rather than naturally occurring polymers. Topics include polymerization, structures, molecular weight determination, molecular weight distribution, chain configurations, rubber elasticity, and thermodynamics and statistical mechanics of polymer solutions.

Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
W. Chen
Prereq: CHEM-302.
Notes: offered once every three years

CHEM-325 Atomic and Molecular Structure with Lab

Spring. Credits: 4

This course is an introduction to experimental and theoretical approaches to the determination of the structure of atoms, molecules, and chemical bonds. Classroom work provides background in the theory of atomic and molecular structure and an introduction to quantum mechanics and spectroscopy.

Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
H. Jayathilake
Prereq: MATH-102, CHEM-202, and PHYS-201, all with grade of C or better. Coreq: CHEM-325L.
Advisory: Mathematics 203 is recommended.

CHEM-328 From Lilliput to Brobdingnag: Bridging the Scales Between Science and Engineering

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

The performance of many engineered devices is dependent on macroscopic factors (pressure, temperature, flow, conductivity). As a result, engineers often model devices macroscopically considering atomistic level details only through fixed parameters. These parameters do not always capture the full atomistic level picture. More accurate multi-scale approaches for modeling macroscopic properties use basic atomistic level chemistry at key points in larger scale simulations. This course is an introduction to such approaches focusing on fuel cells as a concrete example. Basic scientific principles will be developed along side of basic engineering principles through project/case studies.

Crosslisted as: PHYS-328
Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
M. Gomez
Prereq: MATH-102 and PHYS-201.

CHEM-334 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

The implications of molecular symmetry as expressed in the language of group theory are explored in some depth. Group theory provides the context for a discussion of the structural and spectroscopic properties of inorganic compounds, particularly those of the transition metals.

Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
D. Cotter
Prereq: CHEM-302 and CHEM-325. (CHEM-325 may be taken concurrently with this course. Apply for instructor permission in this case.)
Notes: offered every other year

CHEM-336 Organic Synthesis

Fall. Credits: 4

This course emphasizes recent developments in synthetic organic chemistry and deals with general synthetic methods and specific examples of natural product synthesis. It covers such topics as new methods of oxidation and reduction, stereospecific olefin formation, ring-forming reactions, and methods of carbon-carbon bond formation. The application of these reactions to the synthesis of naturally occurring compounds is examined. A general strategy for the synthesis of complex molecules is also presented.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
D. Hamilton
Prereq: CHEM-302.

CHEM-337 Physical Organic Chemistry

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

An introduction to the concepts and methods of physical organic chemistry. An examination of the mechanistic principles underlying free radical, ionic, pericyclic, and photochemical reactions, and the experimental and theoretical support for mechanistic postulates. Topics will include qualitative molecular orbital concepts, reaction kinetics, thermodynamics, and an introduction to computational methods.

Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
G. Snyder
Prereq: CHEM-302.

CHEM-339 The Organic Chemistry of Biological Pathways

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course explores the underlying organic chemistry of biological pathways and thereby seeks to build a framework for understanding biological transformations from the perspective of mechanistic organic chemistry. Beginning with common biological mechanisms, and drawing parallels with their sophomore organic chemistry counterparts, a broad overview will be constructed of the pathways by which the key classes of biological molecules--lipids, carbohydrates, amino acids, nucleotides--are manufactured, modified, and consumed. Several specific biosyntheses will also be dissected from a mechanistic perspective. These case studies will include antibiotics, an alkaloid, and heme.

Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
D. Hamilton
Instructor permission required.
Prereq: CHEM-302.

CHEM-344 Physical Chemistry of Biochemical Systems

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course provides an overview of the fundamental principles of physical chemistry with an emphasis on their application to the study of biological molecules and processes. Topics will include quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics and thermodynamics. Discussion of applications will relate commonly used experimental techniques -- such as spectroscopy and calorimetry -- to the fundamental principles on which they are based. In addition, students will gain experience and confidence in the use of mathematical models to describe biochemical systems.

Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
A. van Giessen
Prereq: CHEM-202, MATH-102 and PHYS-110 with a grade of C or better.

CHEM-346 Physical Chemistry of Biochemical Systems With Lab

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course provides an overview of the fundamental principles of physical chemistry with an emphasis on their application to the study of biological molecules and processes. Topics will include quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics and thermodynamics. Discussion of applications will relate commonly used experimental techniques -- such as spectroscopy and calorimetry -- to the fundamental principles on which they are based. In addition, students will gain experience and confidence in the use of mathematical models to describe biochemical systems.

Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
A. van Giessen
Prereq: CHEM-202, MATH-102 and PHYS-110 with a grade of C or better. Coreq: CHEM-346L.

CHEM-395 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 8

The department
Instructor permission required.
Notes: Note: See safety training restrictions in description of Chemistry 295