Chemistry 428 Fall 2007
Mondays 11-11:50 AM Fenton 337
Instructor: Melanie B. Berkmen Office: Donohue 513 Phone: 617-973-5321 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Office Hours: Mon. 12:30-1:30, Tues. 12-1, Thurs. 2:30-3:30 or by appointment
Course Description: Independent study under the direct supervision of the chemistry faculty. Students are required to attend departmental seminars and submit an oral and written research proposal for review by the chemistry faculty. 1-3 credits.
HIGHLY Recommended text: The ACS Style Guide: Effective Communication of Scientific Information, Third Edition (Anne M. Coghill and Lorrin R. Garson, Eds.) Oxford University Press: New York, 2006. 448 pp. ISBN 0841239991. This text gives advice on everything from referencing, grammar, to ethics. You can order new on Amazon for ~$43, buy it from the bookstore, or use the free ones at the library reference section or on the bookshelf in the Chemistry Office.
1. All students will participate in weekly group meetings. Participation is critical in this type of class and counts for 20% of your grade. In most meetings, students will informally describe their progress on their research for 5 minutes each. Students may discuss a paper, a problem that they are trying to solve, a method that they are learning about, show a slide or figure that they are working, etc.
2. Students are also expected to hold individual meetings with their faculty advisor on a regular basis throughout the semester.
3. Students will develop a paper or proposal (double-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font, 6-10 pages for a and b, 10-15 pages for c, the list of references is not included in total page limit). The student can choose any one of the three formats:
a. Research proposal Following a grant proposal format, the student will describe a hypothesis that they intend to test or a problem that they wish to explore. They will then explain the experimental/laboratory/analytical approach(s) that they will employ in the Spring Semester to answer their question. The proposals will include: 1. Introduction: Background, hypothesis and significance 2. Outline of experimental plan 3. Discussion: Anticipated outcomes, problems, and conclusions 4. References
b. Mock Grant Proposal This proposal will follow a formal grant proposal format. The student will describe a theoretical hypothesis or problem that they wish to explore. The proposal will include: 1. Introduction: Background, hypothesis and significance 2. Outline of experimental approach 3. Discussion: Anticipated outcomes, problems, and conclusions 4. References
c. Research review. Research reviews provide an in-depth analysis of a specific field and a deep synthesis of the material. Research reviews are not simply a summary of related articles. The student will describe the most recent advances and techniques in the area, explain any points of contention, and illuminate the most interesting questions that remain unanswered. 1. Introduction: Thesis and significance 2. Overview of literature 3. Conclusion 4. References
4. Students will present a proposal to the Chem./Biochem. Dept faculty and students in seminar. Presentations will use Powerpoint and will be 20 min. with 5 min. for questions.
5. Students will turn in an organized binder containing your notes and your primary literature (copies of the reviews, chapters, papers that you read – organized by date of publishing) at the end of class.
6. Students will attend departmental seminars.