Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We are working on a number of problems supplied by the student. 1. The student is working on better understanding how to develop retrosynthetic plans and total synthesis. 2. The student supplied more practice problems provided by the Professor for further work. Specifics covered during this session Problem set 1 - Due Wednesday. Problem 1: We addressed mechanism in the total synthesis of pyrazole, using a tandem Michael Addition reaction followed by air oxidation mechanism. I demonstrated how to use a popular chemical abstracts database site to design a synthesis of ene-yne intermediate. Problem 3: We did the complete mechanism in the synthesis of PA-824, including SN2, THP Protection, Sn2 reaction mechanism. We discussed the reason for protection schemes in total synthesis. We located the article using google on the new improved synthesis. We then found the four problems of the original synthesis and how the new synthesis addressed these problems."
"At today's session, the student and I continued to review for his upcoming midterm exam. We continued to focus today's session on balancing chemical equations. I went over the homework packet I had given him to work on at our last session. In addition, I gave him several more problems to work on during the session today. Overall, I think he is finally getting the hang of it. It is a challenging topic, because deciding which coefficients work is pretty much a "trial and error" task. He did not give up, and worked through all of the problems I gave him, diligently. We also worked on writing molecular chemical equations when given the equation in words. He is doing well in this as well. He needed help a little when writing molecular equations from word equations. This is called "writing the skeleton" of the equation. Sometimes he writes incorrect compounds in the skeleton equations, which then causes him trouble when trying to balance the equations. This problem will be solved when he develops a strong grasp of oxidation numbers/ charges. He is getting there slowly, but still has some work to do."
"Today we reviewed some topics within thermodynamics and periodicity in preparation for the students' upcoming final exam. To begin, we worked through a multipart free response question involving standard molar enthalpy and entropy, Hess' Law, reaction balancing, and applied knowledge of combustion reactions. We discussed the definition and differences of the different "types" of enthalpy, i.e. enthalpy of formation, combustion, reaction, etc. After working through each part of the problem in detail, we moved on to reviewing the principles behind and interpretation of photoemission spectroscopy. In doing so, we reviewed the photoelectric effect, and what each axis on a photoemission spectrum represents. We were able to use a worksheet from class as a guide to explain the process and try an example problem. We plan on doing more of these problems at our next session, as well as taking on additional review topics that the students find they need additional review in."