Dr. Mike Evans

Thursday, July 16, 2020 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Teaching organic chemistry as science in a time of remote instruction

Introductory organic chemistry courses typically focus on predictions of reaction products or mechanisms based on simple canonical models of how molecules engage with one another. Such predictions are complicated by the empirical reality, which is often at odds with the “textbook picture” of a reaction. Instructors have rightfully called into question the value of these kinds of intellectual exercises, based as they are in a kind of pseudoscientific fantasy. In the current time of remote instruction, the ubiquity of this fantasy on the Internet adds to the urgency of reconciling the complexity of the actual science of organic chemistry with the need to teach the subject to a broad cross-section of undergraduates. In this seminar, I will discuss my efforts to structure my Organic Chemistry II course to promote experimental reasoning, exposing students to both the canonical or “zero-order” picture of organic chemistry and experimental design aimed at making “first-order” corrections to this picture.

Contact Information: 
Host: Prof. Amit Reddi:
Map of Georgia Tech

School of Chemistry & Biochemistry

901 Atlantic Drive Atlanta, GA 30332-0400

(404) 894-4002 (phone) | (404) 894-7452 (fax)