One of the most exciting activities of the year was the continuation of the new science facility project. Since the project involves gutting Thompson Chemical Laboratory, renovating all classrooms, building new teaching and research labs, and the relocation of every chemist except Professor Lovett (the coordinator of the project), it has been a very busy year. Current descriptions of the science facility project and the Chemistry Department at Williams may be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.zgf.com/williams\williams.htm and http://www.williams.edu:803/Chemistry/.
On Saturday, April 27, 1996, Williams College hosted the Sixteenth Annual Undergraduate Research Conference and Awards Symposium for the Connecticut Valley Section of the ACS. This event was organized by Professors Lee Y. Park, Andrew S. Koch, and Birgit G. Koehler together with help from the Williams Chemistry Student Advisory Committee. The research symposium was a big success, drawing participants from all over western Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Nine Williams students gave research presentations: Emily Snyder `98 and seniors Laralyn Bergstedt, Susan Gillmor, Joshua Hubbard, Michael Miller, Amy Prieto, Joshua Resnick, Steven Singer, and Erin Whitney. In addition, Williams students served as session moderators. A luncheon followed the research presentations, during which the American Chemical Society presented its annual awards to local high school and college students. Amy L. Prieto `96 received the ACS award for Williams College. The symposium culminated with a presentation by Professor William Jorgensen of Yale University on "Computer Modeling in Organic Chemistry" that was well geared to the mixed audience of college professors, college and high school students, and parents of the award winners.
This year we continued to participate in the Class of 1960 Scholars Program. Three distinguished scientists were invited to campus to meet with our students and present a seminar. Professor Stephen Lippard of M.I.T., Professor Paul Houston of Cornell, and Professor Fred Wudl of the University of California, Santa Barbara, were the 1960 Scholar speakers this year. Thirteen students were selected by the faculty to be Class of 1960 Scholars during 1996 and to participate in the seminar program which includes a preliminary meeting of the Scholars with a Chemistry Department faculty member to discuss some of the papers of the seminar speaker, attendance at the seminar/discussion, and an opportunity for further discussion with the seminar speaker at an informal reception or dinner. The students selected this year were:
During the final week of classes, a number of awards were presented to chemistry students for outstanding scholarship: CRC Awards to Matthew L. Sandoval `99 as the outstanding student in the general chemistry course and to Annabel H. Muenter `99 as the outstanding student in the advanced general chemistry course, and the Harold H. Warren Prize to Scott A. Snyder `99 in recognition of his being the outstanding student in introductory organic chemistry. At the annual senior Honors Colloquium, Professor Thoman announced the folowing awards: the American Chemical Society Polymer Division Award for excellence in introductory organic chemistry to Robert Chang `98, the American Chemical Society Analytical Division Award to David A. Vosburg `97, the American Chemical Society Connecticut Valley Section Award for sustained scholastic excellence to Amy L. Prieto `96, and the American Institute of Chemists Student Award for outstanding scholastic achievement to Joshua A. Resnick `96.
At Class Day activities before graduation, the John Sabin Adriance Prize was awarded to Michael C. Miller `96 as the senior chemistry major who maintained the highest rank in all courses offered by the Department. Also during Class Day, Justin M. Cole `96 was the recipient of the Leverett Mears Prize in recognition of outstanding scholastic achievement, admission to graduate study in the medical sciences or to medical school, and designation by the faculty of the Department as showing outstanding promise. The James F. Skinner Prize for achieving a distinguished record in chemistry and showing promise for teaching and scholarship was presented to Erin S. Whitney `96.
During the summer of 1996, a number of Williams College chemistry majors were awarded research assistantships to conduct research in the laboratories of departmental faculty. We gratefully acknowledge support from the College, NIH, NSF, Research Corporation, Pfizer, Inc., the Dreyfus Foundation, the American Physical Society, and the Petroleum Research Fund grants administered by the American Chemical Society.
Professor Raymond Chang continues to serve on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Committee on chemistry and the editorial board of Chemical Educator. He attended the American Chemical Society meeting in New Orleans in March 1996. Chang's new textbook, Essential Chemistry, was published by McGraw-Hill, Inc. in 1996. In January, Chang retired as department chair and started a well-earned mini-sabbatical.
Assistant Professor Dalton continued his research directed towards the synthesis of novel metal-lactam and amide complexes. Summer researchers Jin Kwon `97 and Steve Singer `96 prepared a number of ruthenium-amide complexes. The isolated molecules were used to model the putative metal-amide interactions of metalloenzymes. These efforts were supported by a Research Corporation grant. Steve continued the research during the year as an honors student. A new ruthenium Lewis acid was designed to allow for stronger amide binding and facile chiral elaboration. A preliminary description of this work was submitted to the Journal of Organometallic Chemistry, and Steve presented his findings at the 16th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium.
Early in the Fall Dalton established a molecular modeling lab within the department. A number of computational methods (MOPAC, ab initio) are available on Macintosh computers and a Silicon Graphic Workstation. The thirteen station lab includes a stereoscopic monitor for 3-D viewing of molecules or isosurfaces. The new lab will allow the department to incorporate the latest molecular modeling and computational chemistry advances into the curriculum. Funding for the lab ($110K) was provided by a grant from the National Science Foundation and the College. In addition to his research, Professor Dalton taught Synthetic Organic Chemistry in the Fall, the advanced section of General Chemistry, and the Department's Ford Course.
Professor Lawrence Kaplan was on a mini-sabbatical during the fall semester. He organized a symposium on "Forensic Science: Crime in the Chemistry Curriculum," at the 210th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society held in Chicago, Illinois during August 1995. The symposium was sponsored by The Division of Chemical Education and The Committee on Science of the ACS and featured some the outstanding forensic scientists in the United States. At the meeting Kaplan presented a poster entitled "Chemistry and Crime: From Sherlock Holmes to Modern Forensic Science." He also made two presentations as part of the symposium, "Chemistry and Crime: An Introduction to Forensic Science" and, with co-authors Shirley L. Humphrey `92 and Joseph P. Sadighi `94, "Chromatographic Analysis of Forensic Samples by TLC, HPLC, GC, and GC-MS."
Kaplan was appointed an Adjunct Professor of the New Jersey Judicial College for the Fall 1995 during which time he taught a mini-course to judges on scientific evidence in criminal and civil cases. He also was appointed an Adjunct Professor at Grinnell College for the Sesquicentennial Interim during January 1996. At Grinnell he taught a mini-course in forensic science to approximately 100 students who elected to take the course as part of the special series of courses offered during the sesquicentennial celebration. With his colleague, Professor Forrest Frank from Illinois Wesleyan University, Kaplan organized the course and a full scale forensic science laboratory program. The central theme of the course was the investigation and analysis of the evidence collected at a recent "kidnapping."
Kaplan presented seminars and conducted a workshop on his continuing work to promote forensic science as a vehicle for science education. The seminars, all presented during January 1996, included: "Chemistry and Crime: An Introduction to Forensic Science - A Science Course for Non-Science Majors." presented at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky; "Chemistry and Crime: An Introduction to Forensic Science." presented at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa; and "Forensic Science: Chemistry and Crime" and "Solving Cases Old and New" presented at the Northwest Williams College Alumni Retreat in Seattle, Washington. Professor Kaplan taught the workshop, "Chemistry and Crime: From Sherlock Holmes to Modern Forensic Science - Experiments for High School Science Courses" sponsored by The Education Cooperative at the Professional Development Day for the Dover-Sherborn High School in July 1995.
Kaplan received a grant from the National Science Foundation, Undergraduate Curriculum and Course Development in Engineering, Mathematics and the Sciences Program, for $234,539 to support the proposal "Forensic Science: An Interactive Multimedia Laboratory Program to Enhance Introductory Chemistry (Science) Courses."
Last summer Assistant Professor Andrew Koch presented a poster with Barbara Roe `94 and Grant Harbison `95 entitled "Synthesis and Isolation of 2,5-bis-4-tert-butylpyridinium-3,6-dioxy-1,4-Benzoquinone and Attempted Synthesis and Isolation of Related Compounds" at the 34th National Organic Symposium in Williamsburg, Virginia. During the summer Josh Hubbard `96 and Martin de Kort, a Dutch student from Leiden University in the Netherlands, worked on finishing up this work that led to the discovery of a stable pyridiniumanthraquinone with two reversible reduction potentials. An interesting feature of the reduced state is it's electrochromic nature, an intense color change from light yellow to a deep red upon reduction. This is believed to occur via an electron transfer between the reduced anthraquinone ring and the pyridinium moiety. Such compounds have potential applications in the manufacturing of controllable light-reflection and transmission devices. Professor Koch presented some of these findings at a Bronfman Bag Lunch this spring.
During the Spring semester Koch taught Organic Chemistry, having the pleasure of introducing students to the art of multi-step synthesis and the manipulation of various functional groups. He tried to fight off the monotony from the seemingly endless waves of reactions by introducing demonstrations such as observing the energy gap between the HOMO and LUMO of Chlorophyll and its quenching using benzoquinone, the relative rate of bromination between cyclohexene and benzene, the use of crown ethers in bringing inorganic salts into a non-polar organic solvent, the catalytic formation of rubber from isoprene, the formation of a nylon rope, the formation of an aldol product, and the generation of polyurethane foam.
Koch had the honor of giving the two Fall Sigma Xi lectures at Williams this year. The first was entitled "Light-Harvesting: How Organic Materials Can Solve Some Problems." The second was entitled "An Investigation on the Stability of Pyridinium Quinones and Their Possible Use in Light-Harvesting." He also presented his research group's latest results in a seminar entitled "Preparation and Investigation of some Pyridinium Quinones: Can They Be Used To Enhance Excited State Lifetimes Of Photo-Induced Radical Anions?" at the Department of Chemistry, Mount Holyoke College, in March. A paper, "Stability of Pyridinium Quinones to Aqueous Media: The Formation of Pyridinium-Oxy Zwitterionic Quinones," by Andrew S. Koch, Warren Grant Harbison, Joshua M. Hubbard, Martin de Kort, and Barbara A. Roe has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Organic Chemistry, a journal for which Koch has reviewed several articles.
Koch had a single honors student this year, Joshua Hubbard `96. Josh worked on both Koch's pyridinium-quinone project and his charged ligands for Ru2+ project. Josh focused on merging these two projects by trying to incorporate a pyridiniumanthraquinone moiety onto a ligand that could be bound to Ruthenium. Josh presented his work at the 16th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, which was hosted by Williams College and the Connecticut Valley Section of the American Chemistry Society this year.
This summer Koch has kept the Leiden/Williams connection together by arranging the exchange of two Williams students, Stacey Rutledge `97 and Bo Yoon Choi `98, for two Dutch students, Inge Dijkmans and Jorg Benningshof, from Leiden University in the Netherlands.
During the past summer and academic year, Assistant Professor Birgit Koehler and senior Erin S. Whitney `96 continued research on the interaction of trace atmospheric gases with particulates. Their project entailed designing and building a custom vacuum apparatus. With this set-up Erin was able to begin measuring the absorption of perfluorooctyl bromide, a possible blood substitute, onto soot. The motivation for this work is to see if PFOB will stick on soot; this process could prevent PFOB from reaching the stratosphere where it would contribute to ozone depletion. Erin presented her work at the Environmental Chemistry Research Conference in Boston and at the Undergraduate Research Conference of the Connecticut Valley Section of the American Chemical Society (held this year at Williams). Erin's summer work was supported by an AIURP grant from the Council on Undergraduate Research. Koehler recently received a Petroleum Research Fund starter-grant. In addition, she served as reviewer for proposals submitted to the Atmospheric Chemistry Program of the National Science Foundation.
Koehler again taught the advanced section of introductory chemistry in the Fall. Spring semester, she taught the second half of the physical chemistry sequence that covers statistical mechanics, an introduction to quantum mechanics, and kinetics. In January, she and Professor Park worked with seventeen Williams students in the Science for Kids course. The Williams students designed and presented science workshops for 120 enthusiastic fourth graders who visited the campus late in January. This year's workshop topics included chemistry and cooking, electricity and magnetism, liquids, and bodies in motion.
Professor Charles Lovett was on sabbatical leave during this past year; however, to maintain continuity in the design of the new science facility, he continued to serve as Director of Bronfman Science Center and Chair of the Science Executive Committee. He also served as Chair of the Building Committee for the new science facility. In this capacity he marshaled the project through the programming, schematic design, and design and development phases. He also continued to serve on the Executive Board of the New England Consortium for Undergraduate Science Education and on the Advisory Committee for Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL), a national reform movement to strengthen undergraduate science and mathematics.
Lovett continued his research on the regulation of DNA repair in the bacterium Bacillus subtilis, supported by the National Science Foundation. He was recently awarded a $315,000 grant from NSF to continue this research for the next three years. During the past year, this work involved the efforts of several Williams' students. Last summer, Michael Miller `96 worked on this research as a full-time research assistant. During the academic year, he directed Michael Miller `96 and Joshua Resnick `96 as honors students. Lovett continued to serve as an ad hoc reviewer of research grant proposals for the Molecular Genetics Division of the National Science Foundation. He also was a reviewer for the Journal of Bacteriology and the Journal Molecular and Cellular Biology.
Last summer, Lovett taught the Chemistry lectures component of the Williams College Summer Science Program for Minority Students. During the fall semester he taught the interdisciplinary course, "Introduction to Global Studies," that he developed and taught with Professors Raymond Baker (Political Science) and Mark Taylor (Religion).
Professor Hodge Markgraf was on a sabbatical leave for the fall semester. In October he attended a regional meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Diego. His research group this past year included Chia-Yu Hwu `96 and Matthew Jarvis `96 (honors theses) and Poorab Sangani `97 (fall semester independent project). In January, Hwu completed her thesis, which involved the preparation of azapentahelicenes. Jarvis carried out studies on the synthesis of indole alkaloids by hetero Diels-Alder reactions. Sangani completed his study on the oxidation of tertiary benzylamines under phase transfer catalysis. This summer Dave Vosburg `97 worked on the hetero Diels-Alder project as a Pfizer Undergraduate Summer Fellow in synthetic organic chemistry and exchange student Jorg Benningshof (University of Leiden) continued the azapentahelicene work. The grant from Pfizer Inc. to Markgraf and Vosburg, one of twenty-two awarded nationally, was the only one not given at a Ph.D. granting research university. During the past year two articles were published by Markgraf, honors students, and Dr. Manuel Finkelstein. Markgraf was a reviewer for the Journal of Organic Chemistry.
This year, Assistant Professor Lee Park continued her work on the design and characterization of metal-containing liquid crystalline complexes. Amy Prieto `96 and Thomas Reid `97 worked in her lab during the summer of 1995, and this work was continued during the 1995-96 academic year by honors students, Amy Prieto `96 and Susan Gillmor `96. Amy and Susan were able to began physical characterization of a number of intermediate complexes using polarized light microscopy and differential scanning calorimetry analysis, and presented their results at the 16th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium in April, which was hosted by the Williams College Chemistry Department and the Connecticut Valley Section of the American Chemical Society. This work will be continued during the summer of 1996 by Thomas Reid `97 and Nick Zammuto `98.
In October, Park took a group of students to a conference on "Women in Chemistry" at MIT. In April, she chaired an awards symposium in the Inorganic Division at the National Conference of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans, LA. Her two thesis students, Amy Prieto `96 and Susan Gillmor `96, joined her at this conference. Also in April, she spoke at Mt. Holyoke College on the "Design and Characterization of Metallomesogens." In addition, she attended the 16th International Liquid Crystal Conference in Kent, OH in June.
During the fall term, Park taught CHEM 305, Inorganic and Organometallic Chemistry, for the second year. In addition, she and Professor Andrew Koch developed and taught a new course in the field of Materials Chemistry (CHEM 313, Polymers and Materials.) In the spring, she taught CHEM 304, Instrumental Methods of Analysis, and during the month of January, co-taught the Winter Study course Science for Kids with Professor Birgit Koehler. She also served as the departmental graduate school advisor, and as the faculty advisor to the Chemistry Student Advisory Committee (CSAC), as well as serving on a number of other college-wide committees.
Associate Professor Enrique Peacock-López continued his research in complex dynamical chemical and biochemical mechanisms. In his work related to the Complement system, he has submitted with Elizabeth Juang `95 the paper "Steady State Approximation in the Minimal Model of the Alternative Pathway of Complement," and with Katherine L. Queeney `92 the paper "Chaos in the Minimal Model of the Alternative Pathway of the Complement System" to the Biophysical Chemistry journal. In his studies in nonlinear enzyme kinetics, the paper "Chemical Oscillations in Enzyme Kinetics" has been accepted for publication in The Chemical Educator. This work was done in collaboration with Katherine L. Queeney `92 and Ethan P. Marin `93. In collaboration with Snehal Patel `99, he has considered the regulation and coupling of chemical oscillators. The paper "Complex Dynamics in a System of Coupled Chemical Oscillators" has been submitted for publication.
Most recently, Peacock-López has considered self-duplicating molecules. Experimentally, Rebek et. al. were able to synthesize a primitive self-duplicating molecular system. Based on this work, Daniel B. Radov `96 and Carolyn S. Flesner `94 have analyzed a template dimerization mechanism. Their results have been submitted for publication in the paper "Complex Dynamics in an Autocatalytic Template Mechanism." Finally, he has served as reviewer for the Journal of Chemical Education and the National Science Foundation.
In addition to his research activities, Peacock-López taught Quantum Chemistry where he has increased the use of MATHEMATICA as a tool to solve time consuming numerical and symbolic calculations in physical chemistry. Also, Peacock-López' effort in teaching chemistry to children continued. This year, he gave demonstrations to second and fourth graders at the Williamstown Elementary School.
Associate Professor David Richardson continued his research efforts directed at isolating the chemical components responsible for the toxicity of Southeast Asian blow dart poisons. His honors student, Christine Carter `96, refined and extended the chemical isolation work established by previous students and she carried out extensive NMR analysis of several of the toxic components from dart poison. This work has developed the structure of a previously unknown cardiac glycoside. Professor Richardson's other senior honors student, Phoebe Glazer `96, opened a new research project involving a collaboration with Professor Colin Orians, formerly of the Biology Department and now at Tufts University. This collaborative effort is aimed at elucidating the chemical evolution of feeding deterrents, known as phenolic glycosides, that protect parental and hybrid willows from predation by herbivores. Richardson also served as a reviewer for the Journal of Organic Chemistry as well as for the new on-line journal, the Chemical Educator. In March, Richardson presented a seminar about his research entitled "Biologically Active Compounds from Southeast Asian Plants" at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth campus. He will also be reviewing a new organic chemistry text book for the Jones and Bartlett publishing company this summer.
In addition to his research activities and serving as the College's Premedical Advisor, Richardson taught the Fall semester of the Department's introductory organic chemistry sequence. During the Spring semester he taught Toxicology and Cancer, and during July he taught the Chemistry laboratory portion of the Williams College Summer Science Program for Minority Students. He also attended a week-long training course at Bruker Instruments, Inc. in Billerica, MA on the operation of the Chemistry Department's new 300 MHz NMR spectrometer. Finally, Richardson served as chair of the College's Olmsted Committee.
Dr. Anne Skinner has been promoted to Senior Lecturer, effective July 1, 1996. She attended the International Symposium on Archaeometry held at the University of Illinois in May 1996. She presented a paper, "Sample Selection for ESR Dating of Flints," based in part on collaboration with several students: Andrew T. Selder `97, Meghan E. Byrne `98 and Emily C. Snyder `98. In addition to collaborating with several archaeologists on dating paleoindian flints, Skinner will begin analysis of fossil mammal teeth in the summer of 1996.
Associate Professor John W. Thoman, Jr. continues his research on energy transfer in the lowest excited electronic state of gas-phase nitric oxide. During the summer of 1995, Fred Winston `97 studied the quenching of nitric oxide fluorescence by small fuel molecules in work sponsored by the Petroleum Research Fund administered by the American Chemical Society. Laralyn Bergstedt `96 continued this project as her thesis research during the academic year, measuring the temperature dependence of the quenching efficiency of dimethyl ether. Additionally, Bergstedt measured nitric oxide self quenching at low temperatures (~215K) and found negligible rotational state dependence. She presented these results at the ACS meeting at Williams in the Spring. Jim Rowe `98 won a summer fellowship from the American Physical Society Division of Laser Science to extend this work to species that are expected to quench nitric oxide through a different mechanism. Thoman served as a reviewer for the new electronic journal The Chemical Educator and reviewed work of colleagues being considered for promotion at other institutions. While continuing to teach introductory chemistry, environmental chemistry, and Introduction to Environmental Science (with Biology Professor Gretchen Meyer and Geology Professor Dave DeSimone), Thoman also served as chair of the Committee on Academic Standing and as of January 1, 1996, chair of the Chemistry Department.