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Spring 1996 CCCENL Newsletter


Please note, this is an old printed Newsletter and you can download a scanned PDF of the entire Newsletter with the above link. We have used OCR to digitize these, and there are bound to be OCR errors. Please contact us if you are interested in helping clean this up, and please note, you have access to the original PDF before any OCR work was done.









































Newsletter Articles


Paper 1- Computers in the Classroom- What Works and What Doesn't

               By Joseph Casanova 

Paper 2- Using MathCAD in High School and Freshman Chemistry

               By M. Gwen Sibert


               By Wilmon B. Chipman 

Paper 4- A Web Page in Chemical Education

               By Carl H. Snyder 

Paper 5- Review of Gaussian 94W

               By Jim Beatty 


               By Donald Rosenthal 

Paper 7- Division of Chemical Education WWW Site

               By Brian Tissue 


               By Donald Rosenthal Chair,

Paper 9- ENVIRONMENTAL AND INDUSTRIAL CHEMISTRY An On-Line Intercollegiate Course For Upperclass Chemistry Students Taught During the Spring 1996 Semester

                 By Donald Rosenthal Chair,

Paper 10- Advanced Molecular Modeling in Undergraduate Teaching at Clarkson University

                 By Yuzhuo Li and James Peploski 

Paper 11- 0n·Line Student Interaction for Learning Physical Chemistry.

                 By George Long, Reed Howald, Carol Ann Miderski and Theresa Julia Zielinski 

Paper 12- New Chemistry and Computers Book on the Horizon Theresa

                 By Julia Zielinski 

Book Review 1- ''The Road Ahead, "

                 By Brian Pankuch

Book Review 2- "Harmony,"

                 By Brian Pankuch

Additional Information




Editor Brian Pankuch, Department of Chemistry, Union County College, Cranford, NJ 07016
Submissions: General articles should be sent to editor Brian Pankuch at the above address. WE would appreciate both 1) printed copy ( hardcopy) and 2) a readable file on a Macintosh or IBM compatible 3 1/2" diskette. We have fewer problems with 31/2 'diskettes. Email submissions are requently lost, and formatting and special characters are changed. Submission deadlines: Fall issue - Sept. 25; Spring issue - March 15.
ALL NEW AND RENEWAL SUBSCRIPTIONS: PLEASE SEND REMITTANCE TO CCE Newsletter, c/o Donald Rosenthal, Department of Chemistry, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY 13699-5810.
RATES: USA 1 year $2.50. two years $4.50: Other countries 1 yr $5, two yr $9. Please make a check or money order payable in US funds to Computers in Chemical Education Newsletter. One to three issues are published per year.
Consulting Editor Donald Rosenthal, Department of Chemistry, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY 13699. Send meeting notices, etc., to Don, ROSEN@CLVM.Ciarkson .edu. 
Managing Editor Henry R. Derr, Laramie County Community College, Cheyenne, WY 82007 HOERR@ eagles .Icc. whecn .EDU.
Contributing Editors:
Wilmon B. Chipman, Dept of Chemical Sciences, Bridgewater State College, Bridgewater, MA 02325, wchipman©
Thomas C. O'Haver- University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 Thomas O'Haver@UMAIL.UMD.EDU
Cover: See Wilmon B. Chipman article--Electronic Classrooms. The newsletter is done using Aldus PageMaker 5


Donald Rosenthal, Chair CCCE (Committee on Computers in Chemical Education)
Department of Chemistry Clarkson University
Potsdam NY 13699·581 0
Phone: 315·268·2352
The CCCE seeks to promote and publicize the use of computers in chemical education. Some of the activities of the Committee are:
A. Organizing Symposia at National Meetings
B. Organizing On-Line Meetings and Symposia
C. Organizing On-Line Intercollegiate Courses
D. Organizing National Computer Workshops 
E. Publishing this Newsletter
F. Holding open meetings at the biennial BCCE meetings. These activities will be described in this message and elsewhere in this Newsletter.
A symposium on "The Use of Computers in Introductory Chemistry" is being organized by Harry Pence (SUNY at Oneonta, Harry Pence is organizing a symposium on the use of simulation in teaching chemistry for the fall 1996 ACS meeting in Orlando,. FL (August 18 to 22). Yuzhuo Li (Clarkson University, will organize a symposium on the "Use of Research Grade Computational Chemistry Packages in Undergraduate Chemistry Courses" for the fall 1997 ACS meeting in Las Vegas, NV.
If you have suggestions for symposium topics or chairs for future ACS symposia, please send them to me.
The CCCE sponsored an on-line conference (CHEMCONF) on "Applications ofTechnology in Teaching Chemistry'' in 1993. (see
Donald E. Jones (a past chair of the Division of Chemical Education Executive Committee, djones@nsf.govorganized EXECCOMM an On-Line Information/Discussion with the Division of Chemical Education Executive Committee during the spring of 1994 and 1995. An on-line symposium entitled "Faculty Rewards: Can We Implement the Scholarship of Teaching?" was organized by Michael Pavelich (Colorado School of Mines, and Arlene Russell (UCLA, was held in October 1995. (see Chemistry.html)
An on-line symposium entitled"New Initiatives in Chemical Education" will be held June 1 to July 19, 1996 (see the announcement elsewhere in this issue).
A symposium entitled "General Papers in Chemical Education" is planned for the summer and fall of 1997 and during the winter and spring of 1998. (see the article in this Newsletter). Marco Molinaro (UC at Berkley, molinaro@ cchem.berkley. edu)andCharles B. Adams (MeG iII U n ive rs ity, Abrams will organize a symposium on "Computer-Aided lmmersive Learning Experiences" for the fall1997 ACS meeting at Las Vegas, NV.
Other on-line conferences and symposia are in early stages of planning. Suggestions may be sent to me.
An on-line chemistry course entitled "Environmental and Industrial Chemistry'' for upperclass chemistry students was held during the spring semester of 1996. (See the article in this issue.)
The CCCE is sponsoring Workshops just before the BCCE at Clemson. Further details are provided in an announcement elsewhere in this Newsletter.
This Newsletter is currently being published twice a year. Articles which are submitted and accepted will appear in a timely manner. We are anxious to receive articles from readers.
An open meeting of the CCCE is planned for the BCCE at Clemson. This will provide an opportunity for you to meet members of the committee -to learn what we are doing to provide ideas and suggestions and to ask questions. Future symposia, on-line meetings and courses will be discussed. If you plan to attend the BCCE, please attend our meeting.
The names and affiliations of the twenty-two members of the CCCE are provided below. 
Charles B. Abrams- McGill University, Montreal, Canada 
James M. Beard -Catawba College, Salisbury NC James
W. Beatty - Ripon College, Ripon WI 
Joseph Casanova - California State University, Los Angeles CA 
W~lmon B. Chipman - Bridgewater State College, Bridgewater MA
Nancy S. Gettys· University of Wisconsin, Madison WI
William P. Halpern • University of Western Florida, Pensacola FL
Carolyn Sweeney Judd- Houston Community College, Houston TX
Alfred J. Lata · University of Kansas, Lawrence KS
Yuzhuo Li - Clarkson University, Potsdam NY
Robert Megargle - Cleveland State University, Cleveland OH
Marco Molinaro · University of California, Berkeley CA
Thomas C. O'Haver- University of Maryland, College Park MD
Brian J. Pankuch- Union County College, Cranford NJ
Harry E. Pence - SUNY College, Oneonta NY
Donald Rosenthal - Clarkson University, Potsdam NY
Gwen Sibert - Roanoke Valley Governor's School, Roanoke VA
Stanley G. Smith- University of Illinois, Urbana IL
Carl H. Snyder • University of Miami, Coral Gables FL
Brian Tissue- V. P. I. and State University, Blacksburg VA
David M. Whisnant- Wofford College, Spartanburg SC
Theresa J. Zielinski - Niagara University, Niagara University NY
Brian Pankuch, Editor
We've been wrestling with what to require or
recommend to our students when it comes
to preparation for using computer hardware
and software. Given no time or room left in an average
course, about a negative 20% it seemed this last
semester, and a curriculum which is bursting, we wonder
... I decided to read a number of books-several
reviewed below, and of course read widely in the
computer area to help decide.
I selected authors who use computers and have innovated
in this and closely associated areas. I've come to
the conclusion that learning to use a variety of software
and in particular to be able to use scripting as a way of
personalizing software is of more benefit for most than
programming ability in C++. Some interesting trends
and ideas also surfaced as related below.
Several points come across loud and clear from the
books reviewed. Teleconferencing, encryption and
increased recording of your life will be important. Teleconferencing
because of the acceleration of hardware
technology which will greatly accelerate the downward
spiral in cost and make it much easier to use.
Encryption will be important if you want to safely make
financial transactions over the Net. The authors seem
satisfied with new schemes, but a little nervous. I
recently read an article in Discover which looked at
some unlikely breakthroughs in computers which would
allow breaking of current encryption schemes in seconds.
The authors are nervous for good reason.
Having a card the size of a credit card (and some small
additions) with the ability to video record everything you
say and your surroundings might be useful for police
and others in potentially dangerous, litigious situations.
With Net support it might be useful if it could scan
individuals you are talking with at a meeting and prompt
your memory of your last meeting with them. But to be
on candid camera every waking hour, since you don't
know when someone else is recording-no thanks.
Perhaps more useful for those of us teaching large
numbers of students would be to have a system built
into our glasses which will prompt us with the students'
name, academic interests and background, score on ,
the lasttest, etc. Of course if we could be prompted with
student info why couldn't a student be prompted with
subject area material as on a test.
While looking into what is now possible or will soon be,
I thought of a few things that would be handy. For
instance I'd find it useful to have a single Internet
address where I could go and browse software I'd be
interested in for myself and my students. Samples of
programs, of commercial products, shareware and
freeware. Might be a neat place to exchange ideas for
use of specific packages and the results of using them.
Another idea occurred to me when I got a email from the
Union of Concerned Scientists (I'm a member of UCS).
I volunteered to be one of a group who is willing to
respond to inaccuracies in the press or to comment to
elected representatives, editors, etc., on nuclear, envi·
ronmental population, etc., topics. I get an email
package containing the article in question, a usually
rational analysis of the weaknesses of the article backed
with facts. In one case this was an article in Time which
concerned catastrophic climate change. Suggestions
were made on how to respond and the email address of
the Time editors included.
After reading the enclosed documentation and writing
up a short comment I emailed it to Time and a few hours
later had received a pleasant response from the Time
. editors (probably an office machine programmed to
respond in a general way). A similar methodology is
followed for contacting Representatives or the President.
I mention this first because you may want to take
part as an individual. You simply respond when you
have sufficient expertise, interest, time and inclination,
it's up to you.
Secondly this seems like a good thing to get students
involved with-there is a lot of critical thinking involved in
reading an article, its rebuttal and thinking through any
comments you might want to make. Topics being very
current is a big advantage.
Thirdly with all the prejudice, misinformation and errors
in reporting anything involving chemistry maybe ACS
should think about setting up something similar to
correct these errors. For more information you can
email to abaptista@ucsusa., or go directly
to the UCS homepage at http:\\
Bill Chipman wrote me that he also had a problem losing
a modem to lightning this summer. Apparently the surge
followed the phone line in. I related my surge problems
last issue. My solution has been to use American Power
Conversion surge protectors, you can get them at
various levels of voltage ratings. They can also have
phone line protection. I called them at 800-800-4APC
with a list of equipment I wanted to protect- they gave
me their suggestions. I then called around for the best
prices from my favorite mail order houses. The surge
protector itself is guaranteed for as long as you own it.
Equipment attached is covered depending on the cost
of the surge protector-with 4 pages of caveats. Perhaps
most important if the surge protector catches a surge it
will trip its internal circuit breaker, you then have to reset
it. Many of the cheaper surge protectors fail in a way
which allows the next surge to come right on through.
Perhaps my biggest protection has been getting the
culprit who left the system plugged in on her own



Brian Pankuch
Department of Chemistry, Union County College
Cranford, NJ 07016

Newsletter Articles

Abstracts of Papers

Joseph Casanova
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
California State University Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90032·8202

M. Gwen Sibert
Roanoke Valley Governor's School for Science and Technology
Roanoke, VA

Wilmon B. Chipman
Dept. of Chemical Science, Bridgewater State College
Bridgewater, MA 02325

Carl H. Snyder
Chemistry Department, University of Miami
Coral Gables, FL 33124

Jim Beatty
Chemistry Department, Ripon College
Ripon, WI 54971

Donald Rosenthal
Clarkson University

Brian Tissue
VPI & State University
Blacksburg, VA 24061·0212

Donald Rosenthal Chair, CCCE
Department of Chemistry, Clarkson University
Potsdam, NY 13699-5810