Chem 334 - Fall 1999
Organic Chemistry I

Dr. Carl C. Wamser

Class Syllabus and Schedule

Course Ref. No. 10378
MWF 9:00 ­ 10:05 am, Hoffmann Hall

Dr. Wamser's Office: Science Bldg 1, Room 327A
Office Hours: every day 10:30 - 11:30 am

Textbook (required): Organic Chemistry, 2nd ed., by William H. Brown and C. S. Foote, including a Study Guide, a supplemental book on Pushing Electrons, a molecular model kit, and a CD called ChemTV, all available as a package in the PSU Bookstore.

Online Resources: Most of the elements of this course will be accessible through the home page at . Internet connections are available from the Chemistry Commons (SB1-221), from numerous PSU computer labs, or from home if you have a computer with a modem. The Chemistry Commons is staffed with chemistry graduate students who serve as tutors. This course is part of a research project to determine the effectiveness of technology and other new methods in teaching and learning organic chemistry.

E-Mail: We will have a class discussion list (, which will be used like open office hours and general communications. See the class home page for instructions on signing up. I can also be reached through my personal e-mail address (

Class Schedule: During the fall term, we will cover Chapters 1 - 9 from the text, following the schedule on the back. You should read the chapter in the text before it is covered in lecture. There will be homework assignments for each chapter but they will not be collected. By doing the homework in advance, you will be prepared for the in-class exercises, quizzes, and exams.

Quizzes: For each chapter, there will be two quizzes. The first will be a brief (5 point) pre-quiz done from the class web page within a specific time frame. For example, Pre-Quiz 1 will be available on the web only from Monday, 9/27, to Wed, 9/29, at 8:30 am. Pre-quizzes are designed to alert you to the main points in the chapter and to encourage your reading the chapter before the lecture cover. The chapter quiz will be a 10-minute (10 point) quiz given at the beginning of a class, with some time allowed for going over any questions before the quiz. Quiz and pre-quiz points are on the same scale as exam points. The lowest scores of the nine quizzes and the nine pre-quizzes will be dropped. There will be no make-up quizzes or pre-quizzes.

Exams: There will be three midterm exams, worth 100 points each, and a final exam, worth 200 points, given in class as indicated on the schedule. Missing an exam will require a written medical excuse, in which case an appropriate fraction of the final exam score will replace the missed exam. There will be no make-up exams.

Extra Credit - E-Mail Molecules: Students may be assigned, if you so request by e-mail, up to nine interesting organic compounds to investigate, with information returned via the class web page (no more than one e-mail molecule per week). Each molecule returned correctly will be worth 2 points extra credit, up to 18 points total. Instructions are on the class web page.

Grading: The final course grade will be determined by total points accumulated. The maximum is 620, based on the sum of exams (500) plus quizzes (120), as outlined above. Extra credit adds to your total. Over the years, I have found that letter grades nearly always fall into the following distributions: A/B borderline (80%), B/C (65%), C/D (50%), to pass the course (over 40%).

How to Succeed in This Course: 1) Clarify for yourself what you want/need to get out of this course, 2) participate actively in all course activities, 3) practice solving problems and developing appropriate skills, 4) use the technology and other learning resources that are made available, 5) reflect on what does and doesn't work for you in learning this material, and ask for help. These themes are elaborated in the "Day One" lecture on goals and expectations.

Miscellaneous: University policy will be strictly followed with respect to course withdrawal, academic honesty, and related subjects. Please ask the instructor or consult the latest PSU Bulletin if you have any questions.

Class Schedule

Date Classwork

M, 9/27 Introduction
W, 9/29 Pre-Quiz 1, Ch 1 overview
F, 10/1 Pre-Quiz 2, Ch 1 practice

M, 10/4 Quiz 1, Ch 2 overview
W, 10/6 Ch 2 practice
F, 10/8 Pre-Quiz 3, Ch 2 applications

M, 10/11 Quiz 2, Ch 3 overview
W, 10/13 Pre-Quiz 4, Ch 3 practice
F, 10/15 Quiz 3, Ch 4 overview

M, 10/18 Exam 1, Chapters 1 - 3
W, 10/20 Ch 4 practice
F, 10/22 Pre-Quiz 5, Ch 4 applications

M, 10/26 Quiz 4, Ch 5 overview
W, 10/27 Ch 5 practice
F, 10/29 Pre-Quiz 6, Ch 6 overview

M, 11/1 Quiz 5, Ch 6 practice
W, 11/3 Pre-Quiz 7, Ch 6 applications
F, 11/5 Quiz 6, Ch 7 overview

M, 11/8 Exam 2, Chapters 4 - 6
W, 11/10 Ch 7 practice
F, 11/12 Pre-Quiz 8, Ch 7 applications

M, 11/15 Quiz 7, Ch 8 overview
W, 11/17 Chapter 8 practice
F, 11/19 Pre-Quiz 9, Chapter 8 applications

M, 11/22 Quiz 8, Chapter 9 overview
W, 11/24 Chapter 9 practice
F, 11/26 Holiday

M, 11/29 Quiz 9, Chapter 9 applications
W, 12/1 Exam 3, Chapters 7 - 9
F, 12/3 Review

Pre-quizzes are available on the class website until 8:30 am on the day indicated above.

Quizzes are given at the beginning of the class period indicated above.

Exams are given for the full 65 minutes of the class period indicated.

FINAL EXAM: Chapters 1 - 9, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 8:00 - 9:50 am