Teaching

The Heck, Suzuki, and Olefin Metathesis Reactions (And Why They Don’t Belong In Most Introductory Organic Chemistry Courses)

The Heck, Suzuki, and Olefin Metathesis Reactions (And Why They Don’t Belong In Most Introductory Organic Chemistry Courses)March 10, 2016

There has been a trend in recent years towards including transition metal catalyzed reactions in the introductory organic chemistry curriculum. The reactions most common covered are palladium catalyzed coupling react…

The Organic Chemistry Behind “The Pill”

The Organic Chemistry Behind “The Pill”February 13, 2015

The Most Interesting Man In The World passed away the other week. No, not THAT guy. He’s just an actor. The OTHER guy. The OTHER guy is Carl Djerassi, organic chemist, professor, author, playwright, and most not…

My Recent Absence, Explained With 9 Molecules

My Recent Absence, Explained With 9 MoleculesJanuary 6, 2015

Hey folks – it’s been awhile! Let me explain. It all started very innocently. In mid November I started noticing that a little bump I’d had on the back of my neck for what seemed like forever had started get…

Another Exercise In Mind Reading

Another Exercise In Mind ReadingApril 17, 2013

Here’s another great example of how one reagent used in a certain context performs one thing, and in a different context performs a completely different task. These are the types of inconsistencies which lead st…

Now Available: The Organic Reactions Flashcard App for iPhone

Now Available: The Organic Reactions Flashcard App for iPhoneFebruary 14, 2013

Today, in partnership with Rich Apodaca of Metamolecular, I’m happy to announce the release of a new app for the Apple iOs: Organic Reaction Flashcards for iPhone.   It should come as no surprise that one of th…

Khan Academy Gets Serious About Organic Chemistry

Khan Academy Gets Serious About Organic ChemistryFebruary 5, 2013

Readers might recall that a few months ago I went through and summarized all 73 of the Khan Academy organic chemistry videos. Going back to the KA site two weeks ago I was surprised to note that  big changes have be…

Putting Acidity In Perspective

Putting Acidity In PerspectiveJanuary 25, 2013

[Source: xkcd  hat tip to Mike Evans @mevans86 for finding this] One concept that always seems to have a hard time getting through is that of pKa. No matter how many times I nag students to “know their pKasR…

Why Organic Chemistry Made Me Feel Dumb

Why Organic Chemistry Made Me Feel DumbDecember 5, 2012

Today I’ll share with you one thing about organic chemistry that made me feel really, really dumb when I took it. And looking back, I didn’t need to. So if it helps at least one person feel less dumb, that…

Khan Academy Videos for Organic Chemistry, Part 6

Khan Academy Videos for Organic Chemistry, Part 6October 30, 2012

In this post (the 6th of 6) we finish up going through all the Khan Academy videos for organic chemistry [videos 65-73]. For previous posts in this series, see [1 2 3 4 5] Video #65 – Keto-Enol Tautomerism Lengt…

#ChemCoach : Online Organic Chemistry Tutor

#ChemCoach : Online Organic Chemistry TutorOctober 25, 2012

For any readers who are interested in chemistry as a career, blogger SeeArrOhh of Just Like Cooking is running a blogging carnival called #ChemCoach where chemists talk about their careers and how they got there. If y…