PS 108 Introduction to Chemistry Fall 2005
Parkinson Hall 132
Dr. Dionne Fortenberry
Department of Sciences and Mathematics
Office: Parkinson Hall 106E
Office phone: 329-7246
Office hours: M 2:00-4:00, T 8:00-10:00, W 2:00-3:00, Th 9:00-11:00, and others by appointment.
Text: Introductory Chemistry, Concepts and Connections, Charles H. Corwin, Fourth
ed. – (available in the college bookstore).
Required Supplementary Materials: Scientific calculator
Nature of Course Content:
As stated in the Mississippi University for Women catalog: This course is a survey of
the fundamentals of chemistry. The topics discussed will include but not be limited to
the behavior of molecules, atoms, and subatomic particles, chemical formulas, and
bonding. This course will also link these topics to macroscopic properties.
The study of chemistry, whether on the introductory level or on more advanced levels,
is the qualitative and quantitative study of the properties and characteristics of matter.
Since, by definition, matter is anything that has a mass or volume, chemistry can be
described as the study of the properties and characteristics of almost everything.
When taken at face value, this sounds like a daunting task indeed, but during this
course we will approach this task in a systematic and orderly manner that will
hopefully put you at ease.
Because this is an introductory course, we will tackle our study of chemistry in a
broad sense. Instead of delving deeply into a few complex topics, we will conduct
more general discussions of several topics. The “Sequence of Topics” section at the
end of the syllabus will give you an idea of what we will cover this semester.
Because we will cover both the qualitative and quantitative aspects of chemistry, you
should be prepared to face the dreaded “word problems”. These problems call for you
to read them, take the data (given information), and use multiple steps to calculate an
answer. Students are often intimidated by these problems because they involve both
reading comprehension and mathematics. However, since there is no math
requirement for this course, you will not be expected to perform any complex
calculations, and with practice you will hopefully become comfortable reading a
problem, understanding it, determining the question being asked, and performing the
Whether or not you have ever had chemistry, you can succeed in this course. I will
present the material to you in as clear and concise a manner as I can. I will also make
myself available for any questions or problems you have with the material. I only ask
that you study and work hard so that together we can make this course as informative
and enjoyable for you as possible.
• Class attendance is expected unless the student experiences a health problem or
unless there are extenuating circumstances. Divisional policy states: “A student is
required to attend 70% of all class meetings or receive an automatic “F”. This is more
rigorous than the university’s 50% requirement. But remember, this course moves
rather quickly and missing lectures puts you at a significant disadvantage.
• Please come to class on time. We will begin on time. Tardy arrivals are a sign of
disrespect to the professor and the other students. Each tardy will count as an absence,
and absences will be counted. (See the above statement on class attendance.)
• Please try to briefly skim through the chapter before the corresponding lectures
because I prepare my lectures according to this expectation. You will benefit much
more from the lecture having skimmed the chapter ahead of time.
Turn off your cell phones before each class. Put them away and do not take them
out during class. If your cell phone rings or vibrates during class, you will have to
leave class for the day. If it happens again, you will have to leave class, and you
must talk to me before you return. These same penalties apply for answering text
messages or for using your cell phone as a calculator. Basically, do not take out
your cell phone for any reason during class.
Desired Student Goals and Outcomes and Nature of the Course:
Following is a list of topics to be covered during the semester and expected student
goals associated with each topic.
SEQUENCE of TENTATIVE LECTURE TOPICS (subject to change)
Weeks 1 - 4
General chemistry terms, matter, the atom, and the periodic table – The
student will be introduced to general chemistry terms. The student will learn
the classification scheme of matter along with relevant definitions. The student
will learn the parts of the atom and the representative shorthand used to denote
these parts. The student will become familiar with the parts of the periodic
table and learn the connection between the periodic table, elemental
characteristics, and atomic behavior.
Weeks 5 - 7
Compounds and formulas – The student will learn the differences between
ionic and covalent bonding in compounds: formation, properties, and naming.
Weeks 8 - 10
Qualitative reactions – The student will be able to predict products of
reactions based on reaction type and balance reactions.
Weeks 11 - 14
Measurements and problem solving – The student will recognize both SI
units and English units used in making measurements. The student will be able
to perform dimensional analysis to convert between units. The student will be
introduced to problem-solving techniques.
Week 15 - 16
The mole – The student will learn the connection between the mole, the
submicroscopic, and the macroscopic.
Quantitative reactions – The student will be able to perform stoichiometric
calculations that allow him/her to predict amounts of products in a reaction.
Requirements of the Course:
Requirements of the course include attendance, homework assignments, weekly
quizzes, periodic exams and a comprehensive final exam. Descriptions are as
Class attendance is expected unless the student experiences a health problem or
unless there are extenuating circumstances. Divisional policy states: “A student
is required to attend 70% of all class meetings or receive an automatic “F”. This is
more rigorous than the university’s 50% requirement. But remember, this course
moves rather quickly and missing lectures puts you at a significant disadvantage.
To help you in your studies, ten-point homework assignments will be given.
Work with the problem sets until you feel you’ve mastered the material. Problem
sets will be collected and randomly graded to encourage you to keep up with the
lecture material. You should come to my office with any questions on the
homework or the material covered in lecture. Assignments must be completed on
time. Late assignments will not be accepted. Please staple your homework
before turning it in.
To encourage you to keep up with the lecture material, weekly twenty-point
quizzes will be given unless stated otherwise. Your highest five (5) quiz grades
will be totaled at the end of the semester. The remaining quizzes will be dropped.
Makeup quizzes will not be given.
Along with periodic quizzes, three in-class exams will help you integrate the
various topics and prepare for the comprehensive final exam. The expected exam
dates are September 14, October 12, and November 16. Makeup exams will only
be given due to illness (with a valid doctor’s excuse) or a documented family
emergency. In order to be considered, the excuse must be presented to me within
three (3) days after the missed exam. The semester will end with a comprehensive
final exam (December 8).
Methods of Evaluation:
The student will be evaluated based on his/her performance of the requirements listed
above (homework, quizzes, exams, and final). The grading policies are as follows:
A ten (10) point scale will be used to determine the final grade. So, for example, 91%
would be an A-, or 75% a C. Adjustments of this scale will occur at my discretion.
Any curve I do construct will be based on my discretion.
Point distribution is as follows:
Quizzes 100 pts (14%)
Exam I 100 pts (14%)
Exam II 100 pts (14%)
Exam III 100 pts (14%)
Homework, Class participation 100 pts (14%)
Cumulative Final Exam 200 pts (29%)
Total 700 pts
Possibly Important Dates: Please keep these dates in mind during the semester.
August 18 Day and evening classes begin
August 20 Saturday classes begin
August 26 Last day to add and/or register classes
Last day to change from audit to credit
Last day to change from grade to pass-fail
September 5 Labor Day Holiday
September 21 Last day to drop without receiving a WP or WF
Last day to change from credit to audit
Last day to submit a change of major form for Fall 2005
September 30 Last Day to apply for a degree to be awarded December 2005
October 3, 4 Fall Break
October 19 Mid-term grades due
Last day a course may be dropped
October 24 Advising period for Spring 2006 pre-scheduling begins
November 11 Last day to withdraw from the university
November 23-25 Thanksgiving holidays
November 28 Classes resume
December 8 Final exam (11:30 am-2:30 pm)
It is the responsibility of students who have professionally diagnosed disabilities to
notify the instructor, so that necessary and appropriate modifications can be made to
meet any special learning needs.
Academic Dishonesty Statement:
Your catalog informs you that students at Mississippi University for Women agree to
uphold the school’s honor code and refrain from any academically dishonest behavior
including cheating, plagiarism, falsifying of data (relevant in laboratory settings), and
any other intellectually unethical behavior. It is your responsibility to make yourselves
aware of the university’s policies on academic dishonesty as stated in your catalog
since those policies are applicable in this class.