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Courses

Get a feel for the exciting variety of courses taught at Marlboro.

This is a list of courses that faculty felt was representational of the courses offered. It is not a complete list of courses, some courses are offered yearly, while others are infrequent. A course may be inspired by events or strong interests and taught only once.

Most advanced work is in the form of tutorials on specific subjects, a collaboration between one faculty member and one student or a handful of students.

Chemistry

Chemistry in the Kitchen
(3.00 Credits — Introductory)

Fall 2010

Ever wonder why bread dough rises? Or what makes a chocolate bar melt when it's heated? When we cook, we see food change. Chemistry explains these changes. Harold McGee, author of On food and cooking: the science and lore of the kitchen, agrees: "science can make cooking more interesting by connecting it with the basic workings of the natural world." In this course, we will explore food and cooking through experiments that ask questions such as: How does heat change food? How do bacteria perform fermentation? Why is the fermented food acidic? What is an acid, anyway? Through these explorations we will build an understanding of how chemistry explains cooking. This is a chemistry course - with the kitchen as our laboratory. The course will meet twice a week: once in the classroom, and once in the kitchen. Each week we will discuss a new topic in chemistry and then use our laboratory time in the kitchen to address our questions. Prerequisite: None

General Chemistry I
(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Fall 2019

Chemistry has a rich history, including ancient theories on the nature of matter and recipes for converting lead into gold. Modern research and applications are equally exciting, and include topics such as creating more efficient solar collectors and the reactions of natural and human-made chemicals in the environment. We will explore these topics as we learn about atomic structure and the periodic table, reaction stoichiometry, chemical bonds, molecular structure and other concepts central to modern chemistry. Many of these topics are related to current health topics and environmental issues. For example, discussions of pH include research on ocean acidification, and our exploration of thermochemistry includes calculations of the fuel value of traditional and alternative fuels.

General Chemistry I Lab
(2.00 Credits — Introductory)

Fall 2019

Science is a process, not a collection of facts. In this laboratory we will combine the study of chemistry with the process of science. Our explorations will focus on "pharmacognosy" which is the scientific study of medicinal plants. We will begin by developing some basic quantitative skills and familiarity with laboratory techniques. The activities for these early parts of the lab will be fairly structured. As you develop your ability to approach a problem scientifically the activities will be less structured. You will have more responsibility for designing and conducting your own experiments on medicinal herbs. Students will work on projects in groups but each student will keep their own laboratory notebook and write their own laboratory reports.

General Chemistry II
(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Spring 2020

The central topic of general chemistry is the composition of matter and transformations of matter, and we will continue to focus on how these microscopic transformations underlie our macroscopic experiences. In the second half of this introductory chemistry course we will examine in detail models of chemical bonds, reaction kinetics, acid-base equilibria and electrochemistry. We will also explore some aspects of thermodynamics, and environmental chemistry will continue to be a secondary theme of the course as we relate all of these topics to the effects of human activity on our environment. We will start each chapter with a discussion of selected topics, followed by in-class projects, problem-solving sessions and homework review.

  • General Chemistry I (NSC158)
  • NSC506

General Chemistry II Laboratory
(2.00 Credits — Introductory)

Spring 2019

The laboratory sessions for the second semester will continue to be an opportunity for students to hone their lab skills and to explore topics and ideas discussed in class. Students will work in teams to devise, conduct and analyze experiments on bio-remediation and electrochromic materials. We will use primary literature to provide some context for our experiments, and we will continue to focus on employing the principles of green chemistry in our lab experiments.

  • General Chemistry I Laboratory

Organic Chemistry I
(4.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Fall 2018

Carbon can form bonds with itself and almost all of the other elements, giving rise to an enormous variety of carbon-containing molecules. Early organic chemists struggled with the structure of one--a cyclic molecule called benzene--until Friedrich Kekulé solved the puzzle in a dream: he saw the carbon atoms “twisting in a snake-like motion. But look! What was this? One of the snakes had seized hold of its own tail, and the form whirled mockingly before my eyes.” In this course we study the chemistry of these carbon-based compounds--their structures, properties and reactions. Many of these concepts will be discussed in the context of biological systems, and class sessions will frequently be devoted to problem-solving sessions and small group projects. This is an intermediate chemistry course and provides essential background for biology, chemistry, pre-med, and pre-veterinary students. 

  • General Chemistry I (NSC158)

Organic Chemistry I Lab
(2.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Fall 2018

In the laboratory we will apply the concepts and analytical skills we develop in the classroom. We will continue to hone problem-solving skills and become familiar with organic chemistry laboratory equipment and procedures. Laboratory sessions will be designed to allow students to explore ideas discussed in class through structured protocols as well as through more open-ended inquiry. Initial laboratory sessions will guide students through the isolation and identification of various compounds of interest, preparing students for their own more in-depth research. By using these techniques students will become comfortable working in a laboratory and familiar with techniques commonly used by organic chemists.

Organic Chemistry II
(4.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Spring 2019

Organic chemistry takes its name from the ancient idea that certain molecules - organic molecules - could only be made by living organisms. In second semester organic chemistry we will continue our study of different classes of organic compounds and their reactions. The first part of the semester will include material on important analytical techniques such as IR spectroscopy and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. In the latter part of the semester we will turn to the original realm of organic chemistry - living systems. For example, we will examine properties and reactions of amines, carboxylic acids, carbohydrates, nucleic acids, amino acids, peptides and proteins, and lipids. This semester will also include a special focus on the process of olfaction in humans. Prerequisite: Organic Chemistry I (NSC12) Additional Fee:$ 0

  • NSC12 Organic Chemistry I

Organic Chemistry II Lab
(2.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Spring 2019

Preparation, purification and synthesis of organic compounds using microscale techniques. The laboratory sessions will continue to be an opportunity for students to hone their lab skills and to explore topics and ideas discussed in class. We will use primary literature to provide some context for our experiments, and students will work in teams to devise, conduct and analyze experiments. Also, this semester there will be a greater focus on self-designed laboratory investigations. Prerequisite: Organic Chemistry Lab I; Enrollment in or completion of Organic Chemistry II

  • Organic Chemistry I Lab

For Chemistry offerings, also see:

Biochemistry of the Cell
Biochemistry of the Cell Lab
Fundamentals of Molecular Biology
Fundamentals of Molecular Biology Lab

Detours

(a mostly random selection of Marlboro microdestinations)