Jay Thoman, Chair of Chemistry, and Peter Wege, former Chemistry major and current member of the Williams College Board of Trustees, present Professor Hodge Markgraf with a bowtie during the Chemistry Department reunion in May. On the occasion of Hodge Markgraf's retirement, the Department hosted what may have been the first Chemistry Majors Reunion. On Friday, May 15, 1998, the senior honors students started off the weekend by presenting results of their research to a large audience of alumni, faculty, and fellow students. On Saturday, there was a full day of scientific talks by chemistry majors from several decades: Amy M. Gehring `94, Scott C. Mohr `62, William R. Moomaw `59, Joseph P. Sadighi `94, William L. Scott `67, William V. Shaw `55, Thomas E. Smith `88, Craig A. Townsend `69, and Clarence L. Young III `77, interspersed with updates from Professors Chip Lovett and Jay Thoman regarding the new science facility construction and the state of the Department. During lunch time, over 50 people toured the construction site (wearing hard hats!) and had the opportunity to sign a steel beam that supports part of the new building. At an evening reception hosted by President Hank and Deborah Payne, the Class of 1952 announced that they were providing funds to name a chemistry teaching lab in Hodge Markgraf's honor, and to establish the J. Hodge Markgraf `52 summer research fellowship. This fellowship will provide a stipend and supply money for undergraduates to work with faculty on research projects.
This year we continued to participate in the Class of 1960 Scholars lecture program. Three distinguished scientists were invited to campus to meet with our students and present a seminar. Professor Marye Anne Fox of the University of Texas at Austin, Professor Timothy Swager of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Professor Philip Borer of Syracuse University were the 1960 Scholar Speakers this year. Nine students were selected by the faculty to be Class of 1960 Scholars during 1998 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 are:
Jordan Dubow, Christine Kim, Matthew Sandoval,Michael Goldstein, Annabel Muenter, Scott Snyder, Geoffrey Hutchison, Daniel Nehmad, Nicholas Zammuto
During the final week of classes, a number of awards were presented to chemistry students for outstanding scholarship. Katherine Belecki `01 received the CRC Award as the outstanding student in the general chemistry course and Zuzana Tothova `01 received the CRC Award as the outstanding student in the advanced general chemistry course. Michelle Pacholec `00 was awarded the Harold H. Warren Prize in recognition of her being the outstanding student in introductory organic chemistry. At the annual senior Honors Colloquium, Professor Thoman announced the American Chemical Society Polymer Division Award for excellence in introductory organic chemistry for Michael Hurwitz `00, the American Chemical Society Analytical Division Award for Geoffrey R. Hutchison `99, the American Chemical Society Connecticut Valley Section Award for sustained scholastic excellence for Matthew L. Crawley `98, the American Institute of Chemists Student Award for outstanding scholastic achievement for Matthew D. Kelty `98, and the Frank C. Goodrich 1945 Award in Chemistry for demonstrated excellence in chemistry research to Allison C. Lamanna `98.
At Class Day activities before graduation, the John Sabin Adriance Prize was awarded to James M. Rowe `98 as the senior chemistry major who maintained the highest rank in all courses offered by the Department. Also during Class Day, Robert Chang `98 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 James M. Rowe `98.
During the summer of 1998, approximately 30 Williams College chemistry majors were awarded research assistantships to work in the laboratories of departmental faculty. We gratefully acknowledge support from the J. Hodge Markgraf `52 summer research fund, the Wege-Markgraf fund, College Divisional Research Funding Committee, Howard Hughes Foundation, Council on Undergraduate Research, Research Corporation, Merck Foundation, New England Consortium for Undergraduate Science Education, National Science Foundation, and Petroleum Research Foundation grants administered by the American Chemical Society.
Professor Raymond Chang has finished his seven-year term on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) committee on chemistry this year. He continues to serve on the editorial board of the Chemical Educator. He taught CHEM 103, Concepts of Chemistry: Advanced Section, in the fall and was on leave during the spring semester. Professor Chang published two papers: "Protodediazoniation of Aryldiazonium Fluoroborates by Dimethylformamide," inTetrahedron; and "Primary Kinetic Isotope Effect - A Lecture Demonstration,"The Chemical Educator. He also co-authored CyberChem, a CD-ROM for general chemistry. Two of his chemistry textbooks have been translated into Korean, French, and Spanish.
Assistant Professor Dennis Dalton taught CHEM 303, Synthetic Organic Chemistry, in the fall semester. In December he resigned to accept a position at Cabot Corporation, a company with $1.8 billion in sales last year. Cabot Corporation's primary business focus is in carbon black, small particles of carbon that are used in the manufacturing of automobile tires and photocopier toner (among other things). Dalton is heading a new research group investigating the uses and applications of functionalized carbon black.
The Department was honored to host Joe Francisco the first Sterling Brown Visiting Professor at Williams College. This Professorship was established through the efforts of the black alumni network, and is designed to bring distinguished scholars to Williams for a semester. Francisco taught the lecture components of CHEM 302, Physical Chemistry: Structure and Dynamics, and CHEM 401, Quantum Chemistry and Molecular Spectroscopy, while Peacock-L--pez and Thoman taught the labs. While on campus, Francisco gave numerous seminars and presentations. Francisco kept the FAX machine and the next-day-mail services busy in keeping touch with his research group ("the Franciscans") at Purdue University. Francisco's research interests lie in ab initio and experimental spectroscopic approaches to atmospheric chemistry.
Professor Lawrence J. Kaplan continued to work on the multimedia, interactive CD-ROM project Sherlock that will provide exploration into the world of forensic science from the crime scene to the crime lab. This computer assisted instructional tool is being designed to enhance the laboratory program in forensic science as well as in other chemistry and other science courses. He received a grant from the National Science Foundation, Undergraduate Curriculum and Course Development in Engineering, Mathematics and the Sciences Program, for $75,000 to support the proposal "Project Sherlock: An Interactive Multimedia Laboratory Program in Forensic Science to Enhance Introductory Chemistry (Science) Courses."
He was appointed an adjunct faculty member of the District Court Committee on Continuing Education and the Judicial Institute of the Trial Court. On June 26, he conducted a special workshop for the judges of the Massachusetts District Court and the Massachusetts Trial Court entitled "Understanding Some of the Basics of Forensic Evidence: The Presumptive and Evidentiary Detection and Identification of Drugs" as part of the continuing education program, Keys for Unlocking Justice held at Williams College.
Kaplan also continued to work with the microcalorimeter acquired from MicroCal, Inc. during the summer of 1997 developing experiments for course laboratories as well as on research projects. He received a grant from The National Science Foundation, Instrumentation and Laboratory Improvement Program for $34,750 to support the proposal "The Use of the Isothermal Titration Microcalorimeter to Enhance the Undergraduate Chemistry and Biochemistry Laboratory."
Assistant Professor Birgit Koehler was on leave during the 1997-98 year, but remained in Williamstown. She worked with Victoria Nicholson '98 on continuing studies of the interaction of SO2 with soot under conditions that mimic the atmosphere. They were able to measure that much more SO2 sticks to the soot than expected from experiments done at warmer conditions. These results lead to the strong possibility that soot may provide a new mechanism for sulfur dioxide oxidation in the atmosphere. Koehler presented this work at NASA's annual conference on "The Atmospheric Effects of Aviation" and Tory presented her work at two regional undergraduate research conferences.
Koehler also spoke on ozone depletion for a fall alumni weekend and attended the spring meeting of the American Geophysical Union. She reviewed proposals for the National Science Foundation, the Petroleum Research Fund of the American Chemical Society, and NASA's Subsonic Assessment of the Atmospheric Effects of Aviation Program. She was appointed to the Committee on Education and Human Resources of the American Geophysical Union's Atmospheric Sciences Division.
Professor Charles Lovett continued to serve as Director of Bronfman Science Center, Chair of the Science Executive Committee, and Chair of the Building Committee for the new science facility. He was also recently appointed Director of the Summer Science Program for Minority Students.
Professor Lovett continued his research on the regulation of DNA repair in the bacterium Bacillus subtilis, currently supported by a $315,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. Last summer, Williams College students Jessica Charland `98, Biniam Gebre `00, and Martha Johnson `97 worked on this research as full-time research assistants. Also participating in this research were Remko Schoot Uiterkamp, an exchange student from the University of Leiden, Research Technician Thomas O'Gara, and Biswendu Chaudhuri, a Postdoctoral Fellow who left the lab in August for a position at the University of Utah. In December, Kathleen Sindt joined the lab as a Postdoctoral Fellow. During the academic year, Professor Lovett directed Jessica Charland as a senior honors student and Kerstin Dostal and Ahn Nyugen as independent research students. In March, he received an NSF-REU supplement of $7200 to support additional research students during the summer of 1998.
In November, Professor Lovett served on the review panel for research grants submitted to the Molecular Genetics Division of the National Science Foundation. He also served as an ad hoc reviewer for the following journals: Journal of Bacteriology, Molecular Microbiology, and the journal Molecular and Cellular Biology. Professor Lovett also continued to serve on the Executive Board of the New England Consortium for Undergraduate Science Education.
Last summer, Professor Lovett taught the Chemistry lectures component of the Williams College Summer Science Program for Minority Students. In the fall semester, he taught CHEM 321, Biochemistry I: Structure and Function of Biological Molecules. During the spring semester, Professor Lovett taught the course he developed for non-science majors CHEM 115, AIDS: The Disease and Search for a Cure. He also taught CHEM 310, Enzyme Kinetics and Mechanisms, a course he introduced several years ago, as an alternative to the second semester of physical chemistry for students interested in graduate school in biochemistry.
Professor Hodge Markgraf completed his last year of full-time teaching and research. In the fall semester he taught CHEM 311, Physical Organic Chemistry, and a tutorial CHEM 312T, Heterocyclic Chemistry, in the spring semester he taught CHEM 202, Organic Chemistry. His research group included honors students Bo Yoon Choi `98 and Matthew Crawley `98 for the full year, honors student Scott Snyder `99 who started his thesis project in January and continued for the spring semester, and Jordan Dubow `99 who did an independent study project in the fall semester. Bo completed work she started last summer on the oxidation of benzyl ethers to benzoate esters by KMnO4 with phase transfer catalysis. Matthew studied the annulation of 3,4-dihydro-[beta]-carboline by a series of reagents that could lead to yohimban derivatives. Scott resumed studies started last summer as a 1997 Pfizer Undergraduate Fellow in Synthetic Organic Chemistry. His work focused on intramolecular hetero Diels-Alder routes to [gamma]-carboline alkaloids. Jordan completed a study on the kinetic isotope effects of Cr(VI) oxidation of bicylclic alcohols. During the past year Markgraf and Choi published a procedure for a new derivative for aldehyde identification, and Markgraf, Snyder, and David Vosburg `97 published a communication on the synthesis of a new [gamma]-carboline alkaloid. Markgraf was a reviewer for the Journal of Organic Chemistry. He also continued to serve as the coordinator of the summer research exchange program with Leiden University in The Netherlands. Williams students Geoffrey Hutchison `99 and Michelle Mourad `00 spent the 1998 summer in Leiden and Dutch students Martijn de Koning and Bart van der Geest worked with Professor Koehler and Professor Weiss, respectively.
Visiting Assistant Professor Sharon Palmer joined the Department to teach CHEM 305, Inorganic/Organometallic Chemistry, and CHEM 304, Instrumental Methods of Analysis. On the days she was not on campus, Palmer continued her electrochemistry research with colleagues at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Professor Park was on leave during the first half of the 1997-98 academic year, continuing her research on liquid crystalline materials derived from metal-chain complexes. Assisting her in her work were thesis student James Rowe `98 and independent study student Nick Zammuto `99. Jim worked on metallomesogens involving Cu(II) chain complexes. During the fall, Jim and Professor Park completed a manuscript that was published in the April issue of Chemistry of Materials, and was featured on the cover of that issue. During the rest of the year, he worked on the preparation of a variety of new bipyridine based ligands that will be the basis for a variety of new metallomesogens; a manuscript on this work will be submitted shortly. Nick spent the fall on the synthesis of novel mesogenic ligands based on 1,3-propane diamines to be used in developing Group VIII metallomesogenic compounds. Both Nick and Jim accompanied Professor Park to Dallas over spring break to attend the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, where they presented a poster on their work. Their research efforts were supported by grants from the ACS-PRF and from the NSF.
In the spring, Park was very happy to return to full-time duty in the Chemistry Department, teaching CHEM 102, Concepts of Chemistry, for the first time to a class of 85 students. She has also been active on a number of other fronts, serving as a reviewer for Chemistry of Materials, preparing and evaluating test questions for ETS for the Chemistry GRE, and was profiled in the book Journeys of Women in Science and Engineering: No Universal Constants which was published this year. In collaboration with Professors Koehler and Kaplan in the Chemistry Department, the manuscript "Science for Kids Outreach Programs: College Students Teaching Science to Elementary School Students and Their Parents" was submitted to the Journal of Chemical Education; this paper describes the pedagogical innovations introduced in the Winter Study course Science for Kids, which has been taught for the past four years. In addition to presenting her work at the Dallas ACS meeting that she attended with her students in March 1998, she also gave a presentation at the International Symposium on Metallomesogens in June 1997; she also attended the National ACS meeting in Las Vegas in September 1997, and the biannual meeting of the International Liquid Crystal Society in July 1998.
Associate Professor Enrique Peacock-L--pez continued his research in complex dynamical chemical and biochemical mechanisms. In his work related to the Complement system, Jim Rowe `98 considered the implications of the Complement in autoimmune diseases. Also, Geoff Hutchison `99 considered a self-replicating model of triple stranded DNA and Annabel Muenter `98 studied atmospheric mechanism.
Professor Peacock-L--pez studied pattern formation in reaction-diffusion equations. In particular, a template mechanism was considered. The numerically analysis was carried out by Geoff Hutchison `99 using a cellular automata approach, and the linear stability analysis was carried out by Leo Tsai `98.
Professor Peacock-L--pez has served as reviewer for The Chemical Educator and Biophysical Chemistry. He participated in the McNair Summer program with students from Williams, Carlton and Mount Holyoke colleges. His effort in teaching chemistry to children continued this year when he gave demonstrations to third and fourth graders from the Williamstown Elementary School.
Associate Professor David Richardson returned from sabbatical and continued his research efforts directed at isolating the chemical components responsible for the toxicity of Southeast Asian blow dart poisons. This required relocating his laboratory and office since his departmental facilities were some of the first to feel the bite of the wrecking ball in the demolition stages of the Unified Science Center construction project. His new laboratory quarters in Bronfman Science Center have been generously loaned to him by Professor Lee Park until construction of new Chemistry Department research laboratory facilities is complete in the spring of 1999. This year, Professor Richardson oversaw the design and purchase of new broad band microinverse probe to outfit the Department's 300 MHz NMR spectrometer. This piece of equipment will increase the sensitivity of the NMR spectrometer by nearly a factor of ten, making the natural product isolation phase in Professor Richardson's research much more efficient. In addition, during Winter Study, Professor Richardson supervised the research work of three students in the Department's offering CHEM 022, Introduction to Scientific Research. Ernesto Andrianantoandro `99 worked on the development of a new bioassay method to be used in the Richardson lab involving the use of brine shrimp as general indicators of natural product toxicity. Veena Mandava `00 and Andrew Werbrock `00 both worked in the Richardson lab under the auspices of the College's newly initiated Merck/AAAS Undergraduate Science Research Program that teams students with a collaborative pair of Williams faculty drawn from the Chemistry and Biology Departments. Veena is working together with Professor Richardson and Professor Dan Lynch on structural analysis of glycosphingolipids from plants. In association with Professor Hank Art and Professor Richardson, Andrew is researching the isolation of allelopathic agents from hay scented fern, a plant that grows widely in Hopkins Forest. Veena and Andrew will return to campus this summer to continue their research under continued support. Professor Richardson served as a reviewer for the Journal of Organic Chemistry as well as for the new on-line journal, The Chemical Educator, and he served as an external tenure reviewer for Swarthmore College. He also prepared grant proposals to the NSF's Research at Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) program and, together with Professor Jay Thoman, to the NSF's Instrumentation and Laboratory Improvement (ILI) program.
In addition to his research activities, Professor Richardson taught CHEM 201, the fall semester of Organic Chemistry, and during the spring semester he taught CHEM 308, Toxicology and Cancer. During the Winter Study Program he developed and taught a new course entitled Structure Determination with Advanced Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Techniques, and during July he taught the chemistry laboratory portion of the Williams College Summer Science Program for Minority Students. He also attended a conference/workshop at San Jose State University entitled "Molecular Modeling in Undergraduate Chemistry Education." Professor Richardson served on the Committee for Priorities and Resources and as chair of the College's Olmsted Committee, and he was the faculty liaison to the Chemistry Student Advisory Committee (CSAC).
In 1997-98 Dr. Anne Skinner attended four professional meetings to present work funded in part by the NSF grant she received in the summer of 1997 in collaboration with Dr. Bonnie Blackwell of Queens College. The first meeting was the University of Buffalo Archaeometry workshop, where she presented an update of the use of electron spin resonance (ESR) to date flint artifacts. In March she was invited to participate in a symposium as part of the American Society of Archaeologists annual meeting, in which she discussed the dating of one of the early Central European hominid sites, work done in part by undergraduate Kristen Hem. April took her to Budapest, to the 31st International Symposium on Archaeometry, with two poster presentations, one on the flint work and one on discoveries in Mongolia. Both of these presentations included the work of undergraduates who collaborated with her during January 1998. Finally, she delivered an invited lecture on "The Maturing of a Technique: Is ESR Still an `Experimental' Dating Method?" at the 5th International Conference on ESR Dating and Dosimetry in Moscow, and followed that with a talk on technical details of using ESR to date fossil teeth. She has been asked to edit the proceedings of this conference.
Dr. Skinner continued her activity as one of the editors of the Council on Undergraduate Research Quarterly, and attended the executive meeting of CUR to discuss the changing role of the organization and its publications.
Working with Matt Kelty `98, Geoff Allen `01, and Tom Fleming `99, Associate Professor Jay Thoman extended his research on the fluorescence quenching of gas-phase nitric oxide to include quenching by halocarbons. Some of these molecules are important in fire suppression and others are useful as tests of quenching models. Currently used fire suppressants have been implicated in stratospheric ozone depletion, so the search is on for alternate fire suppressant molecules. Quenching measurements such as these are important for the temperature dependence of the fluorescence quenching efficiency helps to identify which mechanisms might be responsible for quenching. One mechanism for quenching involves formation of an ion pair, which depends on the electron affinity of the quenching partner. Working with Sterling Brown Visiting Professor Joe Francisco, Thoman's group performed ab initio calculations to determine electron affinities of species whose electron affinities were either unknown or uncertain.
Professor Thoman taught CHEM 101, Concepts of Chemistry, the chemistry portion of the science seminar ENVI 102, Introduction to Environmental. Thoman continued service as chair of the Department, and as chair of the Committee on Academic Standing. He is returning to labs in Australia and California for a sabbatical leave in 1998-1999.
During the summer of 1997, Assistant Professor Deborah Weiss and three students Allison Lamanna, Robert Chang and Daniel Bullock, all class of `98, made significant progress towards understanding how a particular DNA negative regulatory element, NEG-1, contributes to the controlled expression of the immunologically relevant gene, Interleukin-4. During the fall semester Weiss was on maternity leave, and therefore was not teaching in the classroom. She was still partly active in her lab however, with her two honors students Lamanna and Chang. The data that Lamanna generated during the summer and fall, was sufficient to generate an abstract for the Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biology annual meeting. Specifically, Lamanna has data which indicates that the two subregions with in this negative regulatory DNA element interact in a co-operative manner to achieve overall NEG-1 function. She has accomplished this primarily through the use of electrophoretic mobility shift analyses.
For WSP 98 Weiss, along with colleague Elliot Freidman of the Psychology Department, offered a new course, CHEM 013, Genetics and Disease: The Biology, Psychology and Ethics of Genetic Testing. This Winter Study course was designed as a pilot to determine whether there is sufficient interest and material to generate a multi-disciplinary full semester course for non-majors. The students were very enthusiastic about the subject and several attended a conference during the spring term with Weiss in Boston, "The Human Genome Project: Science, Law and Social Change for the 21st Century."
In the spring term, Weiss taught CHEM 104, Concepts of Chemistry: Advanced Section, for the second time, attended the Keystone Symposium on Transcriptional Regulation, presented an abstract with Lamanna at FASEB, and attended the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology annual meeting in Washington, DC. Also during the spring she obtained summer funding in the amount of $10,200 from the Council on Undergraduate Research and the National Science Foundation to support three summer research students. In the summer of 1998, Matthew Whalin `99, Elissa Hallem `99, and Michele Dunn `00 are joined by Bart van der Geest, an exchange student from Leiden University to continue the work on the regulation of the Interleukin-4 gene.
Professor Thomas Graedel
Professor John Muenter
Professor Timothy Swager
Professor Lynne J. Regan
Professor Stephen Lee
Professor Charles Miller
Professor Joseph Francisco
Dr. Michael Laskowski
Professor William Wulff
Professor Philip Borer
Dr. Jeffrey Hrkach
Professor Jeffrey Steinfeld
Professor Stephen Buchwald
Victoria T. Nicholson `98
Victoria T. Nicholson `98, Henry G. Roe `97, Erin S. Whitney
`96, Albert Y.W. Dang `99 and
Birgit G. Koehler
Victoria T. Nicholson `98
Enrique Peacock-L--pez and Casey H. Londergan `97
Enrique Peacock-L--pez and Casey H. Londergan `97
Anne R. Skinner
Deborah Weiss and Allison Lamanna `98