Chemistry

David Qian ‘11 CHEM-DavidQian
F09-S10 D-plan: R-R-L
Biophysical Chemistry and Economics
Pre-med

Favorite and least favorite things about your department:

I am very thankful for how helpful the professors are during office hours. They are all extremely busy with their leading research in the field, but when you talk to them with well thought-out questions, they elaborately and patiently clear up everything that you are confused about. In my opinion, the one flaw with the department is the scheduling of the lab sections. Starting labs at 2 PM really takes away the option of doing a lot of things that happen in the afternoon, including other classes and extracurriculars. It would be better if the labs began slightly later, like the biology labs.

Important info for potential majors:

Remember that Winter Term = Chemistry. Don’t plan studies abroad or many difficult classes
during winter terms because most of the required courses for the chemistry major are offered
only in the winter.

Talk to me if:

You ever have trouble with or have questions about organic chemistry. I’m a lab TA for it, I lead a study group for it, and I’m doing research about it.

Most valuable academic info learned:

Unlike in many other disciplines, simply being able to recite your notes is not enough to do well in chemistry classes. You have to intensely apply the knowledge from your notes to A LOT of practice problems.

Favorite class and professor:

I liked Chemistry 58 the most, taken with Professor Gribble. In addition to the standard topics that are taught in any second-term organic chemistry class, Professor Gribble also teaches a series of Special Topics that show (as one example) how the seemingly pointless concepts of “good leaving groups” are actually applied in real life to make tear gas for chemical warfare.

Major classes taken:

Chem 5, 6, 41, 57, 58; Phys 3,4; Biol 12.

Major journey:

I actually like physics more than chemistry. Classical physics, that is. I decided to be a chemistry major because, unlike the highly imaginative and abstract ideas in non-classical modern physics,chemistry has practical applications no matter how deep we dive into it.

Major-specific activities:

Chem 51 Lab TA; Chem 51 Study Group Leader; HHMI Fellowship and Presidential Scholar Assistantship – Synthesis of Biotinylated TBE-31 (Professor Tadashi Honda)

Thesis status:

I definitely plan to do a thesis during my senior year. Advisor and subject, however, are
undecided at this time.

Other activities:

Dartmouth Chamber Orchestra – Treasurer; Dartmouth Math Society; Undergraduate Advisor.

Off-campus program:

I have yet to do an off-campus program.

Internship experience:

I shadowed an anesthesiologist and did research on connexin gap junctions in heart cells at
SUNY Upstate Medical University, back home in Syracuse, NY.

sliderLandon Brown ‘10 CHEM-LandonBrown
F09-S10 D-plan:  R-R-R
Chemistry
Pre Med

Favorite and least favorite things about your department:

My favorite part about the department is the professors.  All are extremely willing to help and are excited to be teaching, but there are also great research opportunities.  They are very friendly and approachable especially if you are interested in doing research with them or are having trouble in their class.  My least favorite part is the lack of flexibility within the chemistry major since some classes are only offered once a year.  You are pretty much locked into taking your junior fall off, with out any other options.

Important info for potential majors:

Make sure you plan out your major in advanced, especially if you want to minor in something else, or want to go abroad.  The chemistry major is relatively inflexible, but if you want to go abroad, you can do it with the right planning.

Talk to me if:

Talk to me if you are interested in going to medical school or are looking for a research internship during your off term.

Most valuable academic info learned:

My most valuable academic advice has to be to get to know your professors.  Especially in the chemistry department, professors are very friendly and are always willing to help out or just talk.  If you are having trouble in a class, they are extremely accommodating and will help you out as best as they can

Favorite class and professor:

My favorite class was Chemistry 51 (Organic Chemistry I) with Professor Gribble.  I was pretty intimidated by organic chemistry, but Professor Gribble made the material logical and showed us how the reactions were pertinent in the world.   Professor Gribble is able to make lectures exciting and can even make the most dull topics interesting.  Organic chemistry is hard, but if you put in the effort, it can be a very rewarding class.

Major classes taken:

Chem 5, 6, 41, 51, 52, 61, 64; Phys 13, 14, 19

Major journey:

I chose my major because of the professors in the chemistry department.  I took classes in biology, physics, and chemistry my freshman year and my best professors were chemistry professors.  I heard from upperclassman that it was a great department at Dartmouth and I was convinced.

Major-specific activities:

Research as a Howard Hughes Fellow and Presidential Scholar

Thesis status:

I will be writing my thesis under Professor Kull investigating the structure of proteins using x-ray crystallography.

Other activities:

OLE-Mentor; Psi Upsilon; Club Tennis; DOC Trips-Trip Leader

Off-campus program:

Transfer Term to University of Otago in New Zealand, 08W

Internship experience:

Mission Hospital, Intern, 07S, Asheville, NC

NASA Undergraduate Student Research Program, Student Researcher, 08F, Mountain View, CA

New York Presbyterian Hospital, OR intern, 09X, New York City

sliderShreoshi Majumdar ‘10chem6-shreoshi
F09-S10 D-plan:  R-R-R
Biophysical Chemistry/Biology

Favorite and least favorite thing about department:

My favorite thing about the Chemistry department is that it is small and advising is very personal. The professors are genuinely interested in having you become a Chemistry major. They are willing to help you figure out your D-plan to accommodate minors and LSAs. My least favorite thing though, is the lack of flexibility. Because the required courses are offered in specific terms, your D-plan is quite constrained with junior fall being about the only free term. Also, you can’t really pick and choose your courses freely—there is a well-defined structure you need to adhere to.

Important info for potential majors:

Careful planning is essential in this major. A lot of the courses are sequential and offered in specific terms. That said, your ‘plan’ is not immutably set in stone. If you wake up one day and want to go on a random LSA (like me), it is possible to work it in with time and patience.

Talk to me if:

You’re interested in biochemistry and/or research but don’t know who or what to approach. Or if you’d like to take Chem 5 but are being strongly ‘advised’ against it.

Most valuable academic information learned:

Science classes on the quarter system can be very intense. Chemistry classes, given the lab component, can and will require time and effort. Hence, time management is crucial (I know you’ve heard it before). There will be a lot of material to cover in the short span of 10 weeks. But if you’re on top of work, it will be an enjoyable experience.

Favorite class and professor:

Chem 58 with Professor Grubbs: The class was challenging but organic chemistry just makes sense. By the end, I could think in moving molecules. Prof. Grubbs is an excellent professor who tried to keep things interesting even during a dreary winter.

Major classes taken:

Chem 5-6, 41, 57-58, 64, 61; Biol 11, 12, 13, 14, 46, 45

Major journey:

I came to Dartmouth wanting to major in Biology with a concentration in biochemistry. I took introductory classes in both departments. I met a lot of awesome professors in the Chemistry department, who offered invaluable advice. After taking Chem 58 with a bunch of other Chemistry majors, I decided that was the way to go.

Major-specific activities:

Presidential Scholar with Prof. Dale Mierke, 08-09.

Thesis status:

I will do one. (The department strongly encourages it, too.)

Other activities:

President, Dartmouth Undergraduate Journal of Science; Editor-in-Chief, Standpoints; Peer Mentor, WISP; Study group leader, Academic Skills Center

Internship experience:

Freshman winter and spring, I was a WISP intern with Prof. Xiahong Feng in Earth Sciences and continued working with her in sophomore fall as a Crute Memorial Intern. I was extracting and analyzing isotopic data from cellulose and lipids in pine needles.
DAAD-RISE internship in 2009 Summer in Freiburg, Germany.