Meeting Times Mon/Wed/Fri 1130-1230pm, Thu 110-210pm. BROH 114
Text Essentials of General, Organic, and Biochemistry by Guinn and Brewer.
Text support site
One year of high school chemistry, one year of high school algebra or have passed introduction to biology (BIO10/11).
Assigned chapter problems can be found from the daily links on the Calendar Page or on the assignments page. You should keep up with homework on a DAILY
basis, therefore, the daily assignment is given on the calendar. The
problems from the text will be assigned on a regular basis, but will
not be collected or graded. Anyone needing help with homework
assignments should visit me during normal office hours or schedule a
one-on-one appointment. Other resources, such as small group tutorial
sessions, will also be available to help students strengthen their
Homework assignments are designed to
guide you in your study of the material and should be considered the minimum
set of problems to do. Additinal problems are avalaible in the text and online via the assignment page. It is up to you to work as many
problems as necessary to clarify your understanding of any particular
of working problems cannot be overemphasized!
Office hours Students have seen remarkable improvement in
their performance in chemistry by taking advantage of the time
available to ask questions of faculty. I will be available in my office or the lab
during the scheduled times to offer assistance as you need it. You should also make it a habit to study in BROH during my office hours. The
advantage is that it will make it easier for you to get feedback from
me immediately upon encountering a problem with the homework.
Weekly quizzes will be given every Thursday in-class or as an online quiz. The questions focus
specifically on your understanding of the assigned problems. The
quizzes will take 10-15 minutes of time. The quiz questions
will be nearly exact replicas of the homework problems. Therefore, it
is extremely important that you keep up with the reading and do ALL
the homework on a daily basis.
A reading pre-quiz must be completed daily. These will be short 5-10 minute online quizzes that must be completed before each class. The quizzes will be available on the assignment page. The role of the quizzes is to encourage reading the chapter before coming to class for that day.
There will be 2 one-hour long
exams during the semester. The exams will test your ability to
adapt and apply your understanding and
problem-solving skills to new and somewhat unfamiliar situations,
rather than ones patterned exactly like those you have seen before.
Simply repeating facts or mechanically producing solutions to familiar
problems will not help you excel. In fact, there will be some
questions/problems on every exam that are a bit different than the ones
presented in class or in the textbook.
The comprehensive final exam
will be scheduled during final exam week at our alloted period (see
schedule below). No exceptions will be made.
Students will be permitted to bring a
double-sided 3 by 5 inch notecard to the exams and the final.
This notecard may contain any information (e.g. formulas, constants,
definitions) deemed relevant by the student and will be collected at
the conclusion of the exam. This approach is intended to motivate
students to be proactive with respect to their exam preparation and
Exam #1 TBD but ~March 17
TBD but ~April 21
Final Exam (All assigned Chapters, with emphasis on biochemistry chapters)
Wednesday, May 18, 1130am - 130pm.
No alternate exam
arrangements will be considered.
Group Presentation Each student is required to give a short (10-min.)
group presentation of a news article relevant to science and/or
medicine. The article can be from any
“credible” news source (e.g., The New York Times online). We will
assign times and presentation partners starting at mid-semester. I will
be discussing examples of articles throughout the first half of the
semester. The presentation is informal. You may use the WEB,
Powerpoint, handouts or other formats to aid your presentation. The
talk should include 1) summary of the article, 2)
its primary findings, and 3) its relevance to
scientific/and or medical fields and the topics covered in this class.
Anything that will generate class discussion is favorable!
Your grade will be based on your performance on 10 weekly quizzes (10
pts each), daily online reading quizzes (3 pts each), two midterm exams (100 points each), a comprehensive final
exam (120 points), and a short (10-min) group presentation of a news
article relevant to science and/or medicine (30 points).
Final letter grades will be assigned
according to the percentage of points that you accumulate during the
semester. The approximate ranges for letter grades will be:
A = 100-85% B = 84-70% C = 69-55% D =
Your exact letter grade will be
determined by a number of factors, including your performance on the
final exam, the consistency of your performance during the term, and
Disability Services Reasonable and appropriate accommodations, that take into account the context of the course and its essential elements, for individuals with qualifying disabilities, are extended through the office of Student Disability Services. Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact the Student Disability Services Coordinator at (925) 631-4164 to set up a confidential appointment to discuss accommodation guidelines and available services. Additional information regarding the services available may be found on the Saint Mary’s website.
Academic Honesty Students are expected to do their own work on all exams and quizzes. Violations of this policy will be vigorously prosecuted according to SMC Academic Honesty Procedures.
Tips for Success Your performance is based on exams and quizzes. Since questions on these will be based on the lectures, assigned problems, and reading (with emphasis in that order), it is important to attend lectures and do the assignments.
Keep up with the work! Assignments will be updated on a weekly basis. Check our website after each lecture for the assignments due before the next class. I cannot emphasis enough the importance of keeping up with the assignments. The material builds upon itself as the semester proceeds, so you must learn the early concepts to understand the later material.
Also, you are here at SMC to get the best possible education. Take advantage of the small class size and individual attention that a small liberal arts school can provide. Work together on assignments, and see me in my office as often as possible.