EDUCATION: Avert an Organic Breakdown

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Science  20 Feb 2004:
Vol. 303, Issue 5661, pp. 1115
DOI: 10.1126/science.303.5661.1115a

A grueling semester of organic chemistry has sent many a premed student fleeing to the humanities. This pair of sites might spark a different reaction. Offering to help students “eMediately” is this graphics-rich site from Thomas Poon of Claremont McKenna College in California and Bradford Mundy of Colby College in Waterville, Maine. The page provides virtual flash cards to help students memorize hairy reactions like the Ziegler-Natta polymerization and the Kolbe synthesis. More than a dozen animated tutorials cover everything from drawing chemical structures, to the basics of mass spectrometry, to the reactions of aldehydes and ketones. Using the site requires the free Shockwave plug-in. This comprehensive organic chemistry Web text from William Reusch of Michigan State University in East Lansing can enlighten not only students but also working chemists who need a refresher on the details of a particular reaction.

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