Chemistry 203

General Chemistry I

Summer 2013

3 Credit Hours



Dr. Gary D. Anderson 
Department of Chemistry 
Marshall University 
Huntington, WV   25755

Web Page

Prerequisites: There are no formal prerequisites for this course but if your math ACT score was below 17, I would strongly advise you to complete MTH 098 before attempting this course. If your math ACT score was 17 or 18, I would suggest that you take MTH 0979 along with this course.

Course Description: An introduction to chemical science, its development, basic concepts and interrelationships with other sciences. Intended primarily for non-science majors and B.A. degree candidates.

Note for students with visual impairments: This course contains a substantial number of graphics files that cannot be adequately described as text equivalents. If you contact the instructor arrangements can be made to provide the source files for the graphics and/or Braille embossed high resolution graphics.

    Since this syllabus is rather long, I have included some hyperlinks to help you find specific information.

Required Materials
Computer and Software Requirements
Contacting the Instructor
Course Objectives
How This Course Is Organized
List of Topics to Be Covered
Time Requirement
Target Dates and Deadlines
Grading Policies
Instructor Biographical Information

Required Materials:

Text:   The text for this course is Hein, Pattison, Arena, Best: Introduction to General, Organic, and Biochemistry, 10th Edition. Wiley and Sons has made a special, low price version available to Marshall students. This version contains only the chapters for the first semester course and is printed in black and white. The price for this version is about $65. All the color photes and such are in grey tones but this shouldn't make any difference in your ability to understand the text because most of things in color are just supplemental material. This version is bound as a paperback. The ISBN number is 9781119938330. This version is available at the Marshall Bookstore and at the Stadium Bookstore. If it is inconvenient for you to get to Huntington you can order the book online from the MU Bookstore (see link at bottom of main page of the course). You will not find this version at Amazon or any of the other online dealers.

   If you have a copy of the 9th edition of the book you can use that. There is no signifcant difference in the content between the 9th edition and the 10th edition. Page numbers are slightly different but the is a file posted on the main course page that will give corresponding page numbers for the two editions.

    You will need a basic scientific calculator.  The logarithm function is the only thing that you will need beyond addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.  You should be able to find a suitable calculator for around $15 or less.  I do not recommend that you buy an expensive calculator.  You will be better off with an inexpensive calculator that you can learn to use easily instead of with an expensive calculator with so many capabilities that you have a hard time learning how to use it.  The calculator that is installed as a part of Windows 95/98/NT/2000/XP is a good example of what you need and, in fact, you may want to use it for the quizzes.

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Computer and Software Requirements:

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Contacting the Instructor:

   Whenever you need help with the course or just want to ask a question about anything, you should feel free to contact me. I am semiretired and do not teach any classes other than online courses. I do not have an office on campus and I do not have a campus phone. The only reliable method for contacting me is by e-mail. I tend to check my e-mail at least twice a day (even on weekends) and I tend to reply to e-mail as I receive it.  I am sometimes out of town for a long weekend from time to time but will normally have access to e-mail.  If I am going to be out of town and out of e-mail contact for more than a couple of days at a time I will warn you ahead of time.
    You may use the e-mail that is internal to the course by clicking on the Messages button in the menu on the left side of the page. If you select Create Message, then click on the "TO" button, the instructor will listed as Gary Anderson (Instructor) and will normally be on the first page of the list.
    Alternately, you may send e-mail to by any of the standard internet mail protocols.  I will normally respond by whichever method you used to send your message.  If you do not receive a response to an e-mail message within 48 hours you should assume that either your original message or my reply has gone astray in the e-mail system and you should resend the message.  If you have reason to believe that the Marshall email server is not working properly you may want to try sending the message to me at but I only check mail at that address about once a week unless the MU server is down.
    Please note that while we tend to think of e-mail as being a nearly instantaneous means of communication there are times that there are significant delays in e-mail transmissions.  Under certain circumstances it has been known to take as much as 48 hours for an e-mail message to get between a Marshall University account and an account at a local internet service provider.  In fact, I had one case where a student sent me an e-mail message from a Marshall address and it did not arrive until 33 days later.   If either server is especially busy or if the network is particularly busy you will see these delays.  So, be sure to plan ahead and send e-mail messages as early as possible to avoid problems from unpredicted delays.
    I will establish an e-mail list that will be used to make general announcements.  Your Marshall University e-mail account will automatically be placed on this list.  If you wish to have an alternate e-mail address added to this list you should send me an e-mail message requesting this.  If this address changes it is your responsibility to make sure to send me an e-mail message asking me to change the address in the mailing list.  General announcements are also posted on the course bulletin board.

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Course Objectives:

    This course is an introductory course in chemistry and is aimed specifically at the needs of those in the health related professions.  At the end of this course, it is expected that the student will have
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Organization of the Course:

    Chemistry is a subject that builds on a foundation.   You cannot understand the later topics unless you understand the earlier topics.  For this reason, I have used the "topic mastery" model for this course.  You cannot go on to a new topic until you have mastered the current one.  Each topic has a quiz associated with it and you must make a score of 80% (or higher) on the quiz before you can proceed.  You may take the quiz as many times as necessary but only the highest score will count.
    When you first start the course, only one topic will be available to you.  Whenever you complete a topic, a new one will become available.  All of the older ones will stay available so that you can review them as needed.
    I divided the course into 73 topics --  essentially starting a new topic at the point where I would normally end a lecture session in a regular course.  A normal one hour lecture would cover two or more of these topics so each topic would represent somewhere between 10 minutes and an hour of lecture time in a regular course.  You should be able to complete some topics in a few minutes but some will take an hour or more.
    The course is divided into four roughly equal sized parts.  There is an hour exam after you complete each of these parts.  These parts cover roughly 2 to 3 chapters of text material just as they would in a regular course.  Click here for a detailed list of the topics.

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Time Requirement

    NOTE WELL:  In a normal classroom setting for this course you would be expected to attend approximately 45 hours of lectures.  You would also be expected to spend roughly double that amount of time studying for the course outside of class.  The e-course format does not work magic -- you should expect to spend at least the same number of hours completing this course.  Do not put off working on the course and then expect to be able to complete it in a couple of days.  Be sure to try to meet the target dates so that you can successfully complete the course.

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Target Dates:

    Students in this course have a maximum of one semester to complete the course.  As is mentioned in the grading section of this syllabus, there is a target date for each of the hour examinations. You should try very hard to meet these targets.  Otherwise, you will probably have trouble completing the course. Important dates for the Summer of 2010 are:
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    There will be four hour exams and a final exam in addition to the quizzes.  The quizzes will count for one third of the final average.  The four hour exams will all have the same weight and will account for one half of the final average.  The final exam will account for the remaining one sixth of the final average.

Letter grades will be then be assigned based on the following scale for the final average.

    Since I want to encourage students to complete this course in a timely manner, I will add 1% to your final average if you take an hour exam on or before the target date for that exam.  On the other side of the coin, I will deduct 1% from your final average if you take an hour exam more than one week after the target date for that exam.  I will also add 1% to your final average if you complete the final exam more than one week before the deadline.  If you take full advantage of this incentive you can raise your grade by a half a letter grade.  On the other hand, failure to complete the coursework on schedule can cost you severely.  I will post reminders of the target dates on the bulletin board from time to time so be sure to check the bulletin board for this.
    The hour exams will be given on-line.  There is a time limit on the exams and it will be enforced by the computer -- no answers will be accepted after the time limit on an exam.  You will get the graded exam back with your score and feedback on your errors.  Exams are closed book, closed note. You are on your honor to take the exams without any assistance and without referring to any materials other than a basic periodic table.
    The final exam will be handled the same way as the hour exams. You only get one attempt on each exam.
    The quizzes are all taken on-line and the scores and the correct answers are available to you as soon as you complete the quiz.  While I have set the course up so that a "time limit" is shown for each quiz, there is no penalty for taking as much time as you like.  The "time limit" is just to give you an estimate of the amount of time you should make sure you have available before starting the quiz.  All "time limits" were set at 10 minutes initially and then were adjusted based on statistics on how long it actually took students to complete these quizzes.  In most cases at least 90% of the students completed the quiz within the "time limit" and the average is typically about 2/3 of the "time limit"

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Biographical Information:

    I received my B.S. in Chemistry and my M.S. from the University of Oklahoma.  I completed my Ph.D. at Florida State University in 1972.  My dissertation research was in the area of isolation of naturally occurring lactones from ragweeds (It's a good thing I am not allergic to pollen!).  I spent two years as a Post Doctoral Research Fellow at Stanford University working on synthesis of marine steroids.  While at Stanford, I worked with Professor Carl Djerassi (inventor of the birth control pill).
    I spent six years on the faculty at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (home of the Fighting Kangaroos) before joining the Marshall University faculty in 1981.  I have taught a wide variety of courses at Marshall including general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, various advanced courses in organic chemistry, honors seminars, and even Visual Basic programming.  I was Chair of the department from 1982-1986.   One of my educational activities is to perform "Chemical Magic" shows in elementary, middle, and high schools.
    My research interests were originally in synthetic organic chemistry but they have gradually shifted to use of computers in organic chemistry and in chemical education.  I spent a sabbatical year at the University of California, Santa Cruz (home of the Banana Slugs) working on computational chemistry projects.
    My primary hobby is reading (especially science fiction and mysteries) but I do consider some of the things I do with computers to be hobby rather than work and I have been known to play the occasional computer game.
    I am very active in the American Chemical Society, serving as Councilor and National Chemistry Week Coordinator for the Central Ohio Valley Section and I am a member of the Divisional Activities Committee.  I am also very active in Alpha Chi Sigma, the Chemistry Professional Fraternity.  I was advisor for the Marshall University chapter for many years and served as Grand Master Alchemist (National President) for this organization that has collegiate chapters on 50 campuses and professional chapters in several large cities. I am a Trustee of the Alpha Chi Sigma Educational Foundation. I participate in a number of activites at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia.

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 Topics to Be Covered in This Course