Blog from February, 2009

Professor Dharni Vasudevan

"Sorption of antibiotic zwitterions to soils and soil minerals:
Influence of compound structure"

Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME

 Friday, 2/27 at 11 AM in Arey 5.

Chemistry Seminar:

11 AM on Friday, 2/20, Arey 5.

Professor Thomas Hughes

"Phenylene Macrocycles: Building Carbon Nanotubes from Scratch"

University of Vermont , Burlington, VT

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The Chemistry Seminar Series welcomes Timothy Dransfield from the University of Massachusetts Boston.  Please join us for his lecture titled "Gas-Phase Chemistry: Still Hiding Some Surprises" on February 13th at 11:00 AM in Arey 5.

Abbreviated Abstract: The need to understand the impact of human society on the Earth's atmosphere has reinvigorated the study of gas-phase kinetics and mechanisms.

Details for the entire Spring 2009 Chemistry seminar series can be found on the web at:

Disparities in educational opportunities disproportionately impact African-American, Latino/Hispanic, and Native American children, who are three times as likely to live in a low-income area.* Only 46% of fourth graders in low-income areas can perform 'basic' math, such as adding whole numbers.  This is not for lack of potential, but for lack of opportunity. You have the power to change this.
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Wellesley REU

The Chemistry Department of Wellesley College is pleased to announce that
we have received funding for our summer National Science Foundation
Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) site program for the summer
of 2009. Please forward this email to interested students.

The goal of the ten-week summer program is to encourage bright young women
to pursue research careers in science and medicine through their
participation in a research project as early as possible in their academic
careers.  The key components of the program are: a student research
project supervised by a Chemistry or Physics Department faculty member;
weekly meetings in which students give oral presentations of their work;
weekly seminars by visiting scientists; field trips to nearby industrial
and academic research labs; career and graduate school panels; skills
workshops in public speaking, scientific writing, and poster
presentations; and a campus-wide poster session at the end of the program.

Wellesley's supportive infrastructure, including equipment and
facilities comparable to those at many research universities, contributes
greatly to the strength of our research programs.  The diverse array of
individual student projects involves cutting edge research such as (a)
creating novel responsive systems for investigation as drug delivery
vehicles and sensors, (b) synthesizing biologically active nucleoside and
peptide analogs, (c) preparing novel antituberculosis compounds, (d)
simulating electrorheological fluids (e) investigating the synthesis and
degradation of two nitrogen storage molecules, cyanophycin and
phycocyanin, in cyanobacteria, (f) utilizing functional MRI to examine the
brains of crustaceans such as lobsters, (g) applying Monte Carlo methods
to trial wavefunctions for strongly correlated two-dimensional systems,
(h) using solid phase peptide synthesis to prepare thioxo peptides
followed by conformational analysis utilizing two-dimensional NMR and
circular dichroism spectroscopy, (info) using laser cooling to trap Rb atoms,
(j) understanding the regulation of Endopeptidase 24.15 (thimet
oligopeptidase), an enzyme involved in neuroendocrine function, (k)
investigating the electron-induced reactions in nanoscale thin films under
ultrahigh vacuum conditions to understand the formation of biomolecules in
the interstellar medium, (l) using time-resolved laser induced
fluorescence to understand the energy transfer between Cr(VI) and U(VI),
(m) computational modeling of neural mechanisms underlying short-term
memory, and (thumbs down) investigating the vacuum ultraviolet spectroscopy of
astrophysical molecules.  Undergraduate students, especially those doing
research during the summer, have co-authored most of the presentations and
papers that have come out of this department.  

In addition to the student research project component, our summer program
will build on and expand interdisciplinary connections and collaborations
between Chemistry and other departments.  The primary thrust of the
interdisciplinary focus will be the continued inclusion of physics and
geoscience faculty and students in the summer research program.  Such
collaborations will enhance student comprehension of science because of
the varied perspectives of the collaborating disciplines.

The summer research program will engage women and minority students and
introduce them to the excitement of research.  An NSF funded pilot study,
cited in a recent Science article, involving summer research students from
Wellesley and three other undergraduate institutions, clearly demonstrates
the impact of effective undergraduate research experience on learning,
attitude, and career choice.  As in the past, over 50% of the NSF-REU
slots will be reserved for non-Wellesley students with preference given to
participants from institutions with limited research opportunities.  A
distinguished faculty comprised of ~ 50% women and ~25% minorities will
serve as role models.

The point-of-contact for student recruitment will be the principal
investigator, Dr. Chris Arumainayagam, who may be reached at 781-283-3326
or via email at [ ]
Details of the 2009 summer research program can be found at the following
site: [