Tuesday, March 20, 2012

San Diego Blog

Chemists do research! And Chemists like to hang out!

So why not get 20,000+ of them together to do both?

Next week, in San Diego, there will be a national meeting of the ACS. Chemists from all over the country will come to talk about their research and simply connect with each other about the subject they love.

Because GCSA is awesome, they have graciously provided for 7 students to attend this conference. 6 of these students have all been doing Chemistry research for at least a year, and all have posters they will be bringing to the conference in order to present in the Undergraduate poster conference. The remaining student will be presenting our chapter poster as an officer of our local chapter.

These students include Bria P., Ben S., Kristen E., Ariel G., Justin A., Rachael A., and myself.

We will be running a separate blog during this trip where we will document the events and experiences that occur during our trip. Check it often! The web address is chemistryinsandiego.wordpress.com, and is open for all 7 of us to post on.

Thanks for looking at that blog!


Monday, March 19, 2012

Organic Catalysis at Harvard

There are many amazing things about the city of Boston.

We have beaches and snow; we have world famous art museums and the American Revolution started in our backyard. But, for budding Chemists, Boston has a precious resource that would be criminal to ignore.

Schools. Really big, really old, really fancy, and extremely respected schools.

I'm talking about those big names: Harvard, Tufts, WPI, BU, Emerson, MIT, Northeastern, Suffolk, the University of Massachusetts, and many more. Because of their prestige, colleges like these are regularly able to invite professors and other important people from across the country and world to speak and lecture at their schools. Even better, most of these lectures are free to attendees and open to the public. Since we're only a half hour from the city, we decided that we should take advantage of this.

So an elite team was formed to conduct an investigation. This team was ordered to peruse the schools of Boston, finding the most epic and interesting speakers and lectures that would be held in the following month.  This team of experts included myself and Stacy S., and we received quite a bit of support from the Chemistry professors and ACS officers. After two rounds of voting, the chapter decided to attend an Organic Chemistry Talk at Harvard on Feb 27th called “Reaction Design and Catalysis with Aromatic Ions”, given by Tristan Lambert of Columbia University.

There were 6 people who ended up being able to go, including two people who had never been to an ACS meeting before: Shanell P. and Alanah P. In addition to them, we were joined by myself, Justin A., Ben S., and Stacy S. We got there in the nick of time and sat down to enjoy a wonderful lecture.

 Heading out to the lecture!

Dr. Lambert spoke about the research he and his research group were conducting back at Columbia. They have been working with aromatic ions (specifically, cyclopropenium ions) and exploring their use in catalyzing common organic reactions. Because we are a chapter that is very focused on green Chemistry, we were excited to hear his concern about the atom economy and general wastefulness of common organic reactions. It was especially exciting to note that he almost never mentioned the word "green" during the lecture; he just considered this to be a common sense concern. In addition, he was able to not only catalyze these reactions with a great atom economy, his group often increased the yield and speed of the reactions they explored. All in all, it was a great and very exciting lecture.

They're on the steps of Harvard's Chemistry building. It's ok to be jealous.

After the lecture, we went to Fire and Ice, which was literally across the street from our parking (what luck!). We enjoyed a wonderfully yummy and well priced dinner, and headed back to Gordon.

 Why are they so happy?

Ahh, there's the reason. You can be jealous again.

Trips like this are slated to occur every quad, so if you know of any talks happening in Boston or would like to come with us, don't hesitate to let me know!

Thanks to the ACS for funding, and to Justin A. for being a gracious driver!


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Something a little different

Hey Ya'll.

So on Feb. 25, we went out on a limb and did something a little crazy.

Bet you can't guess....

  1. Nothing blew up. One or two things might have burnt though.
  2. There was a gathering of nerds with no academic goal. (pretty crazy, right?)
  3. We literally communicated with Physics.
Here are some pictures to help you out:

Exhibit 1: Not blowing up.

It's not your first guess.
Exhibit 2: Non-academic nerds. 

Yeah, Gordon has beautiful nerds, so what? Deal with it. #StepYaNerdsUp

Exhibit 3: Communicating with Physics.

Physics in it's living state. Don't make any sudden movements.

Alright! Time's up! What did you guess?

Well, if you said "Chemistry-Physics pancake party at VP Bria's house", you're right!

We all got there around 5, and played "telephone" while the pancakes were being cooked.

 At one point, there was a Baboon with a blue bottom. No joke.

Meanwhile, the amazing VP and Friends (we're trying to get them to form a band) performed something wonderful for us to the tune of about 200 pancakes, and other breakfast foods.

 Two of the "Friends" performing with gusto.

There was great turnout, with around 20 people from all classes and from both the ACS and physics club. The total cost was small, since everyone donated a little something to help out.

Chemistry's little helpers

After the meal was served, we just hung out for a while, till someone pulled a mountain of movies out of Bria's Family Movie Stash (C).

 Madam StashHunter

We watched Captain America (chosen by popular vote and a coin toss the break the tie!), which was a great and relaxing way to end the night.

 Relaxed Chemists in their natural environment. They're a very rare specimen.

By the time 9 rolled around, the movie had finished and the atmosphere consented to a collective movement in the direction of Gordon College.

 A tired Chemist. A much more common sub-species.

So, on behalf of the ACS, thank you to everyone who came, and thank you to everyone who donated to the party effort! And most of all:

Thank You Vice President and Family for Hosting the ACS/Physics Club Pancake Party!!!

Next Pancake Party coming soon to an ACS near you!