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Why Do You Like Organic Chemistry

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Which Teaching Method In Chemistry Is Best

Organic Chemistry

It is undeniable that applying experiment as a teaching method to teach chemistry is useful and it is able to improve both concept and students skills but the way of carrying out the experiment and the degree of students engagement during the experiment is the main concern to determine the effectiveness of what had

You Need A Strong Foundation Of Previous Chemistry Courses

If you thought General Chemistry I and General Chemistry II were difficult, you are going to have a harder time in organic chemistry, especially if you still do not have mastery of the material from your previous courses.

Like a lot of science and math classes, chemistry builds on itself.

If you do not understand the way different elements react with one another, how and why electrons bond, or how to draw Lewis Structures, organic chemistry will feel nearly impossible.

For many college students, it is easy to fall behind in General Chemistry I and II, but a lot of students hope that organic chemistry will somehow be easier, or maybe even review some of the tough material from those previous classes.

The truth is that there is so much material to teach in organic chemistry, there is hardly any time to review old material.

Professors will dive right into the new content, expecting students to have a strong grasp of whatever they learned previously.

Many students take organic chemistry in the fall, after taking Chemistry I in the previous fall semester and Chemistry II in the spring.

After a long summer of little studying or reviewing, students may be lacking some of the knowledge they acquired in previous semesters.

For students who excelled in Chemistry I and II, organic chemistry will be a natural progression of learning.

For those who squandered, however, it will be an even bigger challenge.

An Opportunity Not A Burden

Countless times, I have heard faculty describe teaching as being a burden and something that stands in the way of one’s research objectives. This mentality is unfortunate, but ultimately a result of the academic system where faculty promotions are generally tied to research publications and funding. Nonetheless, it is important that teachers adopt the mentality that teaching is not a burden. Rather, teaching is an incredible opportunity to educate the future leaders and problem solvers of the world, while sharing one’s passions. For the vast majority of academicians, the true legacy we leave behind lies with our students, not our publications or H-index.

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It Is Dependent On Symbols And Visualizations Instead Of Language

There are more than 15 million compounds to work with, and nearly an infinite number of possible organic reactions.

You cannot expect to understand the way these reactions operate by using language alone.

It is mostly a combination of elemental symbols, numbers, arrows, shapes, and lines that make up a chemical reaction.

Organic chemistry is essentially a language of its own.

It is therefore taught in a more mathematical format, than literature since it relies so heavily on applying rules rather than memorizing content.

A lot of the material in organic chemistry relies on what is called arrow pushing, or a way of drawing molecular diagrams to represent electron movement in chemical reactions.

There is no way to memorize the way these arrows move, and why chemicals behave a certain way.

Instead, organic chemistry should be attempted the same way you might learn a language.

Do not try to focus on single rules, since rules cannot be generally applied to every case.

Instead, focus on the big picture.

Learn skills and look for patterns, rather than rules that are set in stone.

Organic Compound From The Elements: Acetic Acid Kolbe

Organic chemistry

The next synthesis of an organic compound directly from the elements, without any organic material involved at any stage, was achieved by Hermann Kolbe in Marburg. He performed an important series of experiments demonstrating that acetic acid, which had previously only been isolated from organic materials, could be prepared from the elements, i.e. by purely non-biological means. This involved the synthesis of CS2 from carbon and sulfur at red heat, and its reaction with chlorine to yield CCl4. Pyrolysis of CCl4 through a red-hot porcelain tube filled with pieces of porcelain afforded tetrachloroethene and chlorine, probably via intermediate formation of dichlorocarbene. The tetrachloroethene under water was converted by sunlight to trichloroacetic acid, and reduction of the latter with mercury-potassium alloy or by hydrogen generated by electrolysis of water yielded acetic acid .

Scheme 4

Kolbe’s synthesis of acetic acid from the elements 1845.

Kolbe emphasized that these reactions showed a transition from simple inorganic compounds to compounds usually considered to belong exclusively in the domain of organic chemistry so here, as in few other cases, it became impossible to draw a line between Organic and Inorganic .

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What Does An Organic Chemist Does

An organic chemist is a chemist with a college degree in chemistry. Typically this would be a doctorate or master’s degree in organic chemistry, though a bachelor’s degree in chemistry may be sufficient for some entry-level positions. Organic chemists usually conduct research and development in a laboratory setting. Projects that would use organic chemists would include the development of a better painkilling drug, formulating a shampoo that would result in silkier hair, making a stain resistant carpet, or finding a non-toxic insect repellent.

Organic Chemistry Studies Chemical Reactions Occurring Inside Living Beings

The main reason organic chemistry is so important is that it studies chemical reactions that take place in living beings. Without organic chemistry, scientists would not have been able to explore the mechanisms of different changes occurring during metabolism. In addition, organic chemistry provides detailed information about how different organic chemicals react to other compounds and which products are released in our bodies as a result of the chemical reactions.

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Teaching Tactics And Philosophies

There is no one-size-fits-all model when it comes to teaching . I have found it is best to experiment in order to identify those teaching practices that work best for me and for my students. However, I hope it may be helpful to briefly describe some of the best practices used in my UCLA Chem 14D course, which were also validated during my recent sabbatical stint as the Robert Foster Cherry Professor at Baylor University. The notions described, albeit in the context of organic chemistry, can be generally applied to other courses.

There Is A Lack Of Visualization Software


Since organic chemistry is less intuitive and less likely to follow the rules, there are fewer options for visualization software to help you understand the material.

These computer programs are essential in comprehending how the experiments work, especially for visual learners.

Since the rules cannot also be applied to a lot of organic chemistry, though, there is a severe lack of these types of programs.

This creates an added challenge for students trying to understand the already difficult material.

If chemistry were easy, there would be a lot more computer programs that could predict reaction outcomes, and fewer things would need to be done in the lab.

Like human behavior, it is possible to theorize the outcome, but impossible to truly predict it with absolute certainty.

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Why Is Organic Chemistry So Important To Medical School Admissions Committees

Posted on January 28th, 2013

Do you need to know Organic Chemistry to be a great doctor?

No. But Medical School Admissions Committees sure do think so. It is well known that Medical Schools look closely at your Orgo grades from college when they consider you for admissions to their school. This is true. Let us explain.

Medical Schools like to see that an undergraduate student has excelled in Organic Chemistry. Some say it is because Organic Chemistry is a difficult subject and can help differentiate among those students who are stronger than others. Others say it is highly applicable to a typical medical school curriculum and thus those who have excelled in organic chemistry as an undergraduate are more likely to excel as a medical student. The bottom line is that for whatever reason, Organic Chemistry courses seem to produce a greater distribution of grades than do other pre-med courses such as Biology or General Chemistry. Therefore Medical School committees can use this to their advantage and thus can weed out weaker students. Are those students truly weak? Probably not. However when admissions committees need to review thousands of applications and can only accept a hundred or so students, they look for any possible way to dwindle down their heaping piles of applications.

Here are some other trends that committees tend to look for:

1) Good grades in both Orgo I and Orgo II

2) Improvement from Orgo I to Orgo II

3) Good grades in Organic Chemistry Lab

How Do You Choose Your Synthetic Targets

In the beginning, we found them just based on structural intrigue. Then we became more and more interested in the translational component, meaning what could society gain from getting these compounds. One thing that was always consistent from the beginning, though, was that we wanted to exit the area of natural-product synthesis. So, in the nineties, it was really important to show that you could make something and that you could make something really complicated, put it somewhere, and say: Look, I made it. Later, it became clear that the goal really wasnt to make stuff anymore, just to show that it was feasible. The goal became making things to show that it could be practical that a natural-product synthesis can offer an opportunity to make materials for which biology fails. And, to do that, you need the best synthesis not to be the first.

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Was It Easy For You To Get Skilled Students Before You Became Famous

I dont know that I am famous. I mean, I think that Scripps is a great place to do research. People are attracted to Scripps because it is kind of like an oasis for organic chemistry, at least in the United States. So, I have benefited from people knowing that Scripps is an amazing place to do organic chemistry.

At the beginning, it was actually quite easy because there were a lot of students who were excited by embarking on something totally new with a new faculty member. So, none of the starting faculties at Scripps has ever had problems recruiting students. It is quite the opposite. You know when you are there that you have to keep yourself fresh. Otherwise, students wont want to come to an older, more seasoned investigator. So, there is a tremendous amount of selection pressure at Scripps to stay fresh and hungry.

So How Do You Get Skilled Talented Students For Your Lab How Do You Choose Them

The Central Science

Well, every year, we interview the top students in the country who want to go into organic chemistry. I generally choose students based on their excitement level and how well they know what they want to do in life. Often, the best students have a clear idea of what they want to do and where they want to go by the time they go to graduate school. I also look at those who understand that their life is gonna be kind of like that of a monk in graduate school. Undergraduate research experience is a great indicator of future success.

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How Do You Do It By Recognizing Patterns And Similarities

For example, when you start on alkene reactions, youll learn the following mechanisms:

Thats 7 reactions there alone, right? Not really!

If you identify the principles of the reaction, the what and why for each step of the attack, youre really learning ONE reaction: alkene nucleophile attacking an electrophile.

So as you study, ask yourself this question over and over:

What are the similarities, what are the patterns, and even more importantly, why does this happen?

Metrics And Organic Chemistry Love

Student surveys about the Chem 14D course and organic chemistry have been overwhelmingly positive. Of note, at the end of the course, more than two-thirds of the students rate their interest in organic chemistry as high, whereas only < 4% rate their interest in the subject as low. This is a dramatic shift from the start of the course, where < 10% indicated a high rating and > 60% rated their interest as low. The course has been featured in various UCLA Newsroom stories as UCLA’s Most Beloved Class, in Buzzfeed as the second coolest class at UCLA, ahead of actor James Franco’s class on creative writing and screenplay, and in LA Weekly magazine as one of the Best Classes in LA.

There are two lessons that stand out most to me. The first is that students can learn to love a class as dreaded and as notorious as organic chemistry. This notion applies to thousands of students, even if one only considers the students I have taught at UCLA. The second lesson has to do with the innovation and creativity shown by students. Whether we think about organic chemistry music videos or the unique solutions students devise in solving retrosynthesis problems, it is clear that our students are capable of doing extraordinary things. Educators should be mindful of this and should aspire to draw out a spirit of creativity and innovation from their students when teaching.

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What Makes Organic Chemistry So Hard

Posted on May 29th, 2013

One of the reasons many students find Organic chemistry so difficult is because Organic chemistry is a very demanding course. In Organic chemistry, students are tasked with learning a large number of reactions, nomenclature, and molecular theory, but we make this easy . Many students have never encountered a course like this before, and become bogged down by the amount of information they must know. Students will attempt to study, become frustrated because they do not understand the information, and push studying it off. Without devoting sufficient time to the course, the first test will come by and many students will perform poorly. Our quiz mode allows students to prepare for exams like never before. You can learn the reactions backwards and forwards and not fall for any tricks by your professor. Hear what our students have said.

Here are a couple methods many students use to study Organic Chemistry:

The secret to performing well in Organic chemistry boils down to smart, effective studying. Students who do exceptional in Organic chemistry arent Albert Einstein or have a magic pill. These students are committed individuals who embrace the challenge of Organic chemistry and tackle it with a smart, effective study plan.

Great Challenges In Organic Chemistry

Organic Chemistry – Reaction Mechanisms – Addition, Elimination, Substitution, & Rearrangement
  • Department of Chemistry, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, United States

The current scope of organic chemistry journals typically covers the theory and practice of new synthetic methods and methodologies, isolation and synthesis of natural products, organic reaction mechanisms based on physical and theoretical chemistry approaches, bioorganic and medicinal chemistry, organometallic chemistry, molecular recognition and supramolecular chemistry, and polymers and materials chemistry.

These categories or branches have been established over years, reflecting the evolution of this field of chemistry on the basis of organic chemistry principles. The evolution will naturally continue in organic chemistry, which is based on clear understanding of the two- and three-dimensional chemical structures, as well as their relations to stability, reactivity, and other chemical properties. This characteristic feature of organic chemistry is very unique and unparalleled to any other disciplines in chemical sciences. Thus, the structureproperty, structureactivity, and structurefunction relationships of organic compounds will keep serving as core themes in organic chemistry research.

Now, let’s move on to the examples of great challenges in branches of organic chemistry.

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Organic Chemistry Contributes To The Production Of Perfumes And Fragrances

When making perfumes and fragrances, different organic chemicals are used to give them special scents and pleasant aromas. While natural ingredients already consist of organic chemicals, perfume components can also be synthesized in organic chemistry labs. For instance, methyl dihydrojasmonate is an organic chemical that blends, fixes, and enhances the scent of other perfume components. If we are talking about the revolution in perfumery, aldehydes did the job. These organic chemicals not only give perfumes and fragrances unforgettable scents but also boost their performance. Summing up, organic chemistry allows scientists to synthesize perfume ingredients more efficiently.

Did Anyone Actually Enjoy Organic Chem

so-crates said:Well, did you? If so, why?


chem_tr said:I have found an interesting relationship between organic chemistry and foreign language learning ability it may sound weird to you, but organic chemistry is another language to write and speak. It has rules, syntax, and even “grammar”.I’m trying to say that if you are not very good at learning and using foreign languages, you may suffer from learning organic chemistry easily.

Well, did you? If so, why?


gravenewworld said:The reason I loved organic–you actually learn how to make things. Of all the other chemistry I have taken inorganic, physical, general, you hardly learn how to synthesize things in those courses. Organic is actually about sythesizing desired materials.


Well, did you? If so, why?

probablyquantum modelsupposed


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Organic Compound: Fatty Acids Van Helmont Scheele Tachenius And Chevreuil

It is likely that already Van Helmont had obtained glycerol as a sweet oil from olive oil by heating olive oil with a base , although of course he did not know the chemical composition. Carl Wilhelm Scheele in Uppsala isolated glycerol from the decomposition of fresh olive oil by boiling with Bleiglätte or of fresh almond oil with silfver-glitt in 1783 . The same sweet material was obtained from rose oil, linseed oil, milk oil, butter, and fat from the gut of a pig. He noted that the properties were completely different from those of ordinary sugar , but he thought he obtained the known sugar acid of Bergman and Afzelius by forced distillation with nitric acid. Scheele believed in phlogiston and reasoned that the fett-södme must contain more phlogiston than ordinary sugar, because much more nitric acid was required for its destruction. Scheele isolated and purified several organic acids in the 1760s1780s including tartaric, citric, malic, oxalic, mucic, lactic, and uric , and HCN was obtained by distillation of acidified Prussian blue.

Figure 5

Some organic compounds known by the late 1700s .

Figure 6

From left to right: Lavoisier, Chevreuil, and Berthelot.

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