Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Upcoming Online Course in Nanotechnology

This spring Professor Marmorino (top right) completed an 8-week course in distance education to prepare him for the development of our department's first online course: Nanotechnology.  We decided to go with the broader course nanotechnology rather than nanochemistry for many reasons, two of which are that (1) the field is so interdisciplinary that is hard to stick to just chemistry, and (2) this will be the only "nano" course at our campus so we wanted to give it a wider appeal.  The course will be offered this fall as a general education course (Natural World, N390) that simultaneously serves as a chemistry elective. Below is a tentative description of the course - tentative because Marmorino will spend the summer hashing out the details of topic spread and depth along with the method of delivery and evaluation.
Nanotechnology is the application of the science of small – small particles, but also small features on macroscopic objects. The size scale is so small that the atom must be constantly considered and the properties of bulk matter no longer apply. The course begins by developing an appreciation of the small scale and the implications this has on the variability of the properties of matter once thought to be constant for a given substance regardless of size. Students learn about naturally occurring nanoparticles and their impact in the natural word, but also consider the anthropogenic production of materials and the probing of their properties (mainly through various types of microscopy). Applications of nanomaterials to different disciplines are investigated with a focus on how the peculiar behavior of matter on the nanoscale allows technological advance. Selected topics may include air pollution, clouds, dust, DNA, proteins, micelles, drug delivery, buckyballs, nanotubes, surface tension, diffraction, scaling laws, quantum dots, wave-particle duality, compact discs, paint, and even Himalayan salt lamps.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Professor Anderson Wins Teaching Award


Our department is proud to announce that Professor Anderson was recently awarded a Trustee's Teaching Award for her sustained and consistent teaching excellence.  Especially impressive is that she was able to keep up her level of excellence while serving as department chair - a role which might have diverted the focus of lesser faculty.  Although we are proud, we are certainly not surprised; all the chemistry and biochemistry faculty recognize Anderson as a leader in education. If this one award does not convince you, then one need only consider the many other awards she was won for teaching and advising - and the many awards students have won to research with her as their mentor.  Congratulations Professor Anderson!

Friday, April 22, 2016

2016 Undergraduate Research Conference

Last Friday several students presented their work at our campus's annual Undergraduate Research Conference.  Biochemistry major, Khai Pham (top left), tied with another student for best presentation in the Natural Science Division with her poster presentation Comparison [of] Growth Rates in Cultured Malaria Parasites which described research she performed with colleagues at the Eck Institute for Global Health of the University of Notre Dame last summer. Chemistry major Chris Warkentin (top right) presented his summer research under a SMART grant with our analytical chemistry Professor Grace Muna entitled Preparation of Ni-Pd Modified Glassy Carbon Electrodes and their Characterization by Cyclic Voltammetry and won an honorable mention.  From last fall's biochemistry capstone laboratory course were biochemistry majors Krista Schilling (bottom left) and Andrea Vrydaghs (bottom right) presenting Developing a Biosensor for Glyphosate, the Active Ingredient in RoundUp which highlighted the results from a group of seven students under the guidance of biochemistry Professor Shahir Rizk.
Thanks go to Professors Grace Muna and Shahir Rizk as faculty organizers and also biochemistry major Riley Bigelow for their help to make the conference possible and run smoothly. And naturally we must thank the students presenters for their dedication to perform research as undergraduates and their courage to showcase their work to the students, faculty, and general public who attended the conference.

Student Photographs to Appear in Academic Bulletin

Look for these students from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the new edition of the IU South Bend Academic Bulletin.  Some of our students were chosen for this special photo shoot and we are pleased to have them advertise our programs and the university.