General Chemistry I

Spring 2001 - Section 3955

Course Description: General Chemistry I is a beginning course in the principles of chemistry, with emphasis on theory and its application to structure and reactions. The course is designed to serve as the first course in a two-course sequence concentrating on the fundamentals of chemistry.

Prerequisites: Two years of high school algebra or MATH 1513 or concurrent enrollment.

Required Material: CHEMISTRY, THE CENTRAL SCIENCE (8th ed.) by Brown et. al., and a 'scientific' hand-held calculator. You will be required to provide your own calculator for all quizzes and tests. Study guides and supplements for this course may be available, but are not required.

Class Meetings: Jan 8 - Apr 27; 1:00 - 1:50 pm MWThF in SC 204.

Homework: Homework emphasizing important concepts from the lecture will be assigned periodically. These homework assignments will not be collected, but in most cases will serve as the basis for the material in the quizzes.

Quizzes: Eight quizzes will be given during the semester; usually one every other week. The lowest quiz score will be dropped.

Tests: Four examinations (NOT including the final) will be given during the semester. Tentatively, Test 1 will cover Chapters 1-3; Test 2 will cover Chapters 4 and 10; Test 3 will cover Chapters 6 and 7; Test 4 will cover material from Chapters 8, 9, and 11. Tests will be about every 3 to 4 weeks.

Make-up Policy: Quizzes and tests may not be made up. In the event you have a conflict with a scheduled quiz or exam, it may be possible to take the quiz/exam early. This privilege is entirely up to the discretion of the instructor.

Final: The final will be Wednesday, May 2, from 1 to 3 pm in SC 204. This test will be divided into four sections that correspond to the four hour exams. Your score for the hour exam will be the greater of your hour exam percentage or 90% of your percentage on the corresponding section on the final.

Attendance: Attendance is required; however, detailed attendance records will not be kept during lecture. Since tests cover the material discussed during the lecture, it is to your advantage to attend all class meetings. If you miss a lecture, you are still responsible for the material covered during that period. As a courtesy to the rest of the class, wireless devices with an audible notification feature (cell phones, pagers, etc.) must be either turned off or set to the 'silent' mode, except in the case of an emergency. If you do have an emergency, please notify the instructor before class of the nature of the emergency and that you will need to have these devices turned on during class. Use of a wireless phone during class in the classroom will not be tolerated without prior instructor approval.

Grading: Your final grade will be based on total percentage, with quizzes accounting for 15%, hour exams for 50%, and the final for 35% of your final grade. The grading scale will be 100-85% (A); 85-70% (B); 70-60% (C); 60-50% (D). A grade of F will be assigned to anyone who has below a 50% OR to anyone caught cheating in this course. As the instructor I reserve the right to award letter grades higher than the percentage earned would guarantee.

Teaching Philosophy: My belief is that you are an adult, and therefore are ultimately responsible to do what is necessary to succeed in this class; therefore I do not take attendance nor do I collect homework assignments - you are expected to do both of these to help you understand the presented material. I further believe the best learning environment is a relaxed, interactive environment. I rely on feedback from you to help me guide you through areas with which you are having difficulty. From my perspective, a lack of questions over a section of lecture or homework implies understanding, so I encourage questions over areas that you are struggling. I also believe that the class needs to set it's own pace for covering the material - this is why there are no 'fixed' test dates. However, there is a certain amount of material that has to be covered, so there is not unlimited flexibility in this pace.


Dr. Keith Vitense, Physical Science Department

Phone - 581-2887, Office - SC 225H

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