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1984 Summer Newsletter


List of papers in this newsletter

1. The Personal Computer at Stevens Institute of Technology
by James M. van der Veen

2. MolecUalar Orbital Calculations on Microcomputers
by G. Scott Owen

3. Scientific Applications of the Apple Game Port
by Kenneth Ratzlaff

by Alan R. Miller
Reviewed by Harry E. Pence

by Alan R. Miller
Reviewed by Harry E. Pence



The two figures displayed on the cover were obtained by J. Jeffrey Howbert from screen dumps of his MOLECULAR ANIMATOR program from an Apple II to an Epson MX-80 dot matrix printer using plotting software of his.own design. '{The headings were added and are not part of the screen dump.) The MOLECULAR ANIMATOR is available from COMPress, P. 0. Box 102, Wentworth, NH 03382. It runs on an Apple II+ with 48k under DOS 33. The program handles up to 60 atoms and provides three display modes - stick only, ball only and stick-and-ball. The last two modes use hidden-line algorithms that enhance the three dimensional effect. The program has high-speed free-running animated rotation {3 to 30 frames per second depending on the number of atoms) about the x, y or z axis {controlled by single key presses). Also, scaling and speed.of rotation can be controlled. An editor for creating new shape files allows the user '' to work in Cartesian or internal coordinates. There are about 35 pages of documentation. The documentation includes three tutorials that introduce the parts of the program in a systematic fashion.
Among the correspondence in my "never-to-be-thrown-away" file is a letter I received from John Moore in January 1978 which began " ••• you have been nominated as a prospective member
of the ACS DivChemEd Committee on the Role of Computers in Chemical Education {CRCCE)". After several years as a self-styled proselytizer regarding the wonders of academic computing, I realized that I was not alone and there existed within the Division of Chemical Education a very dynamic group that shared similar goals. Now, a short six years later, it is indeed an honor and a privilege to assume the chairmanship of this same committee whose membership includes so many pioneers in a field that is offering all of us the opportunity to become far more creative in teaching chemistry than we could ever have anticipated only a decade ago. 
As originally conceived, the Committee on Computers in Chemical Education was charged the task of "collecting, evaluating, and disseminating information about computers in chemical education." I do not see that our mission has changed significantly. What has changed, of course, is the number of people whom we must reach, as well as the nature and diversity of the information to be disseminated. With over 32,000 high schools, colleges and universities teaching chemistry, and an estimated 90% possessing academic computing capabilities, our task is indeed a vast one. But we have not been sitting still .... recognizing the immediate and pressing need to carry the information to the teachers wherever they are in the most direct manner possible, we have begun supplementing our biennial 3-day workshops with a series of one day hands-on orientation sessions featuring a collection of about 200 state-of-the-art programs. During the past eighteen months this software has traveled over 30,000 miles from New England to the midwest to the Pacific coast, reaching over 600 teachers at 25 different locations. I believe this is one of our most successful and important projects. Looking forward to continued cooperation with Project SERAPHIM, I intend to expand the one day workshops as much as possible. The 1984-85 schedule of workshops is already taking shape; if you would like to host one in your locale, please contact me for further information.
Of course, our other principal method of disseminating information is this Newsletter. I would like to encourage all of you to make use of it as a forum for the exchange of ideas , by contributing in some way. Share your experiences by responding to one of the Software or Hardware queries. write a brief article describing a special way in which you have used a particular piece of software or hardware in a uniquely effective manner. submit an anecdote concerning "unusual" things that you and/or your students are doing with computers.
We are planning a committee meeting sometime during the 8th Biennial Chemical Education Conference. Out of this will come a number of new directions and projects. If Storrs is in your summer plans, look for the announcements concerning this meeting and/or visit our Software Evaluation Center to·let us know what kind of help you need! See you at Storrs •••
The success of this Newlsetter depends upon your learning something useful by reading it. As the editor, I attempt to gather together materials. Much of this information should come from you. For example, in most issues Queries are printed from the readers. Frequently, the editors of the Queries sections do not know the. answers to these questions. If you as a reader have insights, please let us know. If you have items for the Who Done It? section or would like to write an article or review a book please write to the appropriate section editor or to me. Be an active rather thari a passive reader. In Ken Ratzlaff's article "Scientific Applications of the Apple Game Port" he asks for information from readers who have develpped applications or have ideas about how the game port can be used. This information will be included in Ken's second article which is scheduled to appear in the September issue. Ken will need to receive information from you early in July in order to meet the publication deadline.
A Birds-of-a-feather session for those interested in computers and computer-related activities will be held on Wednesday afternoon, August 8th at the 8th Biennial Conference on Chemical Education at the University of Connecticut. The exact time and place will be announced at the meeting. Those who will attend this session include Paul Cauchon (Chairman of the Division of Chemical Education's Committee on Computers in Chemical Education), Joe Lagowski (Editor of the Journal of Chemical Education and co-director of Project SERAPHIM), John Moore (co-director of Project SERAPHIM and Editor of the Computer Series in J. Chern. Educ.), Ken Ratzlaff (Chairman of the ACS Division of Computers in Chemistry .and Editor of the Hardware Queries and WHO DONE IT? sections of the Newsletter}, Ken Leach (Editor of the Software Queries and WHO DONE IT? sections of the Newsletter} , other members of the Committee on Computers in Chemical Education and myself. This meeting will provide an opportunity for an exchange of ideas. Questions, suggestions, comments and criticisms will be welcome. We hope that those of you who come to the Biennial Conference at Storrs will attend.
The Seventh Biennial Computer Workshops sponsored by the ACS Chern Ed Committee on Computers in Chemical Education will be held at Clarkson University. Tentative dates are July 28th to August 1st, 1985. A committee is being organized to handle the advanced planning for this meeting. Discussions regarding the meeting will be held at the Conference. Anyone having suggestions for workshops, symposia, exhibits or other aspects of the planning should communicate with me prior to the Storrs meeting. (D. Rosenthal, Department of Chemistry, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY 13676.) Further information on the meeting will be sent to all of you sometime in the fall. 
The mailing label used with this issue of the Newsletter is different. This is because the tape which I inherited containing the original mailing list has been transformed into a data base which can be sorted by zip code, last name, first name, or in other ways. The format of the label or lists can be changed. In the process of transformation some capital letters were globally changed to small letters. The transformation· process may have introduced some errors. If corrections are needed in your mailing label, please let me know.
A free subscription to the Newsletter can be received by anyone who fills out a pink form. Anyone wishing to receive more than one copy of the Newsletter is expected to pay $1.50 per issue for each additional issue received. Special rates are available for those who wish to distribute Newsletters at courses, workshops or meetings. Generally, there is no charge for Newsletters distributed at events which are sponsored by the Division of Chemical Education or the CCCE. Advance notice is required if a substantial number of copies is required.

Donald Rosenthal
Department of Chemistry, Clarkson University
Potsdam, NY