CCL: Apologies... the article I read was in the NYT, not CCL, but the issue is still valid...

Perhaps a solution to this conundrum is differentiating between applied mathematics and “pure” mathematics.  I’ve always found that mathematics taught in an application environment (e.g. the recent NanoHub course on Fundamentals of Nanoelectronics) is much easier to absorb and apply than that taught in splendid isolation where there is no connection to the real world.




From: .. [ ..] On Behalf Of Bradley Welch bwelch5**
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2012 12:21 AM
To: Kress, Jim
Subject: CCL: Apologies... the article I read was in the NYT, not CCL, but the issue is still valid...


I've had a math course taught in the chemistry department. It was probably more worthwhile than the separate linear algebra and differential equations courses I took. It got straight to the point with connecting concepts to their chemistry ones. Admittedly there are other issues at work when people struggle at Physical Chemistry. One of that I think is up until that point, deriving is something your chemistry student has done little of. Your average physics student by their junior year has probably has had modern physics, classical mechanics, and other derivation heavy courses by the time they get to quantum mechanics, statistical thermo, etc.

On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 7:58 PM, Salomon Turgman Cohen <owner-chemistry[]> wrote:

Sent to CCL by: Salomon Turgman Cohen [sturgman()]
Dear All,
    My memories of the required Physical Chemistry course for the
cheme degree are still fresh in my memory. I remember struggling with
some of the tools and missing their relation to previous work in math
classes. Eventually, some of us just got it. Perhaps, a piece of this
puzzle is teaching department specific math classes (at higher costs
obviously) where mathematical concepts are connected immediately to
future topics to be taught in the (chemistry) field.


On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 5:50 PM, Amy J Austin
docronindaemon(-) <owner-chemistry-> wrote:
> Sent to CCL by: "Amy J Austin" [docronindaemon-]
> Hi John,
> I agree with you that Chemistry students should have to take more Mathematics as a prerequisite for the major. Further, I believe the lack of these required courses places undergraduate students lacking an education in higher level Mathematics at a disadvantage. Imagine learning the concepts involved in Physical Chemistry or Theoretical chemistry if one simultaneously struggles with the tools involved.
> A descriptive Chemist wouldn't need the same command of Mathematics as a Physical/Theoretical Chemist. Then again, how would an undergraduate student know if they had an interest in the latter without the fundamental Mathematical knowledge to master the material.
> Best,
> Amy
>> "John McKelvey jmmckel]*["  wrote:
>> Sent to CCL by: John McKelvey [jmmckel.]_[]
>> --
>> John McKelvey
>> 10819 Middleford Pl
>> Ft Wayne, IN 46818
>> 260-489-2160
>> jmmckel]_[>

Salomon Turgman Cohen
Postdoctoral Associate
Cornell University
(919) 341-9650

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Bradley Welch
Saint Louis University
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