The first lecture exam, Tuesday (Monday schNedule), October 9, 6:30–8:30 pm,
follows the Columbus Day holiday weekend.
It will not be given at any other time and
failure to take the exam
will result in a 0 for that exam,
so please make weekend travel plans accordingly.
The third lecture exam, Monday, November 19, 6:30–8:30 pm,
is two days before Thanksgiving recess.
It will not be given at any other time and
failure to take the exam
will result in a 0 for that exam,
so please make Thanksgiving recess travel plans accordingly.
The Final Exam
day and time has not yet been determined by the registrar.
We will let you know as soon as it has been determined.
It will not be given at any other time and failure to take the exam
will result in a 0 for that exam,
so please make end-of-semester plans accordingly.
Welcome to CH101/116 General Chemistry. This is the first semester of a year-long course intended primarily for science majors, pre-medical students, engineering students who require a one-year course, and other interested students. This syllabus is designed to answer many questions you may have. Please read it over and then keep it handy to use throughout the semester. If you have questions about the material or the course, we encourage you to use the course online discussion forum. Everyone in the course follows this forum and so this is the fastest way to get your questions answered.
The course is given by
Senior Lecturer Alexander Golger (SCI/270C, 617-353-2124,
is the course coordinator and is in charge of the laboratory part of CH101.
Alex Golger and Post-doctoral Faculty Fellow Dr. Nathaniel Hatmann share teaching of the pre-lab lectures.
Discussion sections are led by Senior Lecturer Natalya Bassina (SCI/270A, 617-353-4716,
with help from graduate teaching fellows
Dr. Nathaniel Hatmann,
with help from undergraduate learning assistants.
Natalya Bassina also is in charge of class scheduling and other administrative aspects of the course.
The text for this course is based on an abridged, custom, online edition of the Canadian text Mahaffy et al., Chemistry: Human Activity, Chemical Reactivity, second edition, ISBN 9781305284203. We have arranged for the online edition to be purchased online directly from the publisher and includes the online version of the text only and access to online activities.
The online course key is E-26E6YKUGF8RSM
To purchase, go to
Should you also want a printed copy of the current, second edition text, you may purchase a used copy available at various places.
In addition to the text above, the following seven items are required:
Be aware that it is a Massachusetts State Law that safety goggles are mandatory in the laboratory. In the lab, all students who wear contact lenses should wear prescription glasses under their safety goggles. Contact lenses are forbidden in the lab. Also, all students must wear the appropriate clothing: long pants, long sleeves and closed shoes (no sandals or flip-flops).
Your Mahaffy et al., eBook subscription includes detailed help on all of the end-of-chapter questions. To access this help, and all of the other eResources in each chapter, do the following.
A PDF of the index of the textbook is here.
The page numbers in the index refer to the printed text.
To go to the corresponding location in the eBook, click the Search icon and then enter the page number,
and then click the result to go to that place in the eBook.
The course consists of five required components:
There are two and a half hours of lecture meetings each week, and these lecture meetings are held in SCI/109 at alternative times:
You are required to attend your assigned lecture meeting.
There is a 50 minute discussion each week, on Thursday or Friday. Discussions meet starting Thursday, September 6.
There is one two-hour and fifty minute laboratory each week. There will also be a laboratory lecture:
Pre-Lab lectures begin the second week of the semester. The first laboratory lecture is the week of September 10. You are required to attend your assigned pre-lab lecture meeting. Labs begin the third week of the semester on Monday, September 17. You are required to attend your assigned lab.
The 6:30–8:15pm sessions are used only for the lecture exams and the lab exam. On lecture exam days there will be no Monday lecture (sections A1, A2, and A4) and the preceding Thursday or following Tuesday evening lecture (section A3) will be shortened to 30 minutes; the section A3 lecture that will be shortened will be announce the week preceding the exam. For the lab exam, Monday lectures will be held as usual.
If you have not yet registered for all of the five components of the course (three for CH103), please do so right away. All grade records are based on the registrar information, so we require that you be officially registered and that you attend the corresponding lecture, discussion and lab.
There will be three lecture exams, a lab exam and a course final exam as follows:
Exams are given only at the scheduled time. A missed exam counts as 0. In particular, please note the following:
We require that no electronic devices (cell phones, computers, tablets, etc.) may be used in lectures, discussions, and labs.
To help you get the greatest benefit you are able to during these class times.
All students at Boston University are expected to maintain high
standards of academic honesty and integrity. It is the responsibility
of every student to be aware of the
Academic Conduct Code’s contents and to abide by its provisions,
as detailed at
Please note carefully that we treat cheating with zero tolerance. The consequences of cheating are at a minimum that the score for work on which cheating occurs counts as 0, and a letter detailing the cheating is sent to the student's advisor, the dean of CAS, and placed in the student's academic file. Possible further consequences are referral to Academic Conduct Committee and additional penalties, including possible expulsion from university.
The course Web at
and the online discussion forum Piazza are used extensively in this course. Sign up for Piazza at
All posts to Piazza go to everyone in the course and so this is the fastest way to get your questions answered and to help your classmates with their questions.
Finally, should you have personal concerns, please email them to
Each student is required to have an email account on the Boston University computer network. It is easy to activate your account, if you have not already done so (there is no charge to use your account): Go to Information Technology, 111 Cummington Street, and they will set you up. Be sure to ask for their handouts on how to use the World Wide Web and email. Your email address will automatically be added to the course email address. Please note that use of university computing facilities is governed by the BU Conditions Use and Policy on Computing Ethics,
Abuse can result in severe sanctions, including fines and academic probation or suspension.
We have designed the course as an introduction to general chemistry that integrates laboratory explorations with the development of the analytical tools necessary to understand and guide those explorations. Some particular aspects that we will emphasize are
Our goal is to help you share in our excitement for and the wonder of science, to challenge you to excel, to give you a sense of empowerment about science, and to encourage you to continue study in scienceand hopefully chemistry. We intend to focus especially on what are the core ideas of chemistry.
In this semester we cover Mahaffy et al., chapters 1 through 8 and chapter 10. Detailed lecture summaries will be provide here.
The detailed laboratory schedule is here.
The laboratory part of the course will let you see first-hand chemical principles and processes in action. It will also give you experience with some of the methods scientists use to do chemical research. Your laboratory will consist of the following.
Your scores for each part of the course will always be available in your Blackboard Grade Book.
We do not assign letter grades to exams, labs, or quizzes. We only assign a course grade. This course grade will be determined based on your overall course score. This score is determined as follows:
For CH101 students, the lab score counts for 20% of your course grade.
The various components of the lab will be graded as follows: The lab
(30 points for each lab period), lab quizzes (10 points each), pre-lab lecture
quizzes (5 points each), and the lab exam (60 points). Lab quizzes
given at the beginning of each lab to check your familiarity with the
basic features of the lab to be done.
For CH116 students, the lab score counts for 40% of the course grade; details of lab grading will be provided to you separately. The components of the lecture part of the course contribute relatively in the same proportion as the lecture portion of CH101
CH104 (lecture-only) students will be graded based on their relative score for the lecture-only part of the course: Lecture exams count as 30/80 * 100% = 37.50%, the final exam as 15/80 * 100% = 18.75%, lecture quizzes as 10/80 * 100% = 12.50%, discussion quizzes as 15/80 * 100% = 18.75%, and ALEKS as 10/80 * 100% = 12.50%.
Your score is the percent of lectures given so far in which you have gotten the correct answer.
For example, if in lecture 1 there were three quiz questions, and you got two of them correct,
your score for that lecture would be 66.6%.
Then, if in lecture 2 you got all quiz questions correct, your score for that lecture would be 100%.
Finally, your score taking into account both lectures would be (66.6% + 100.%)/2 = 83.3%.
The lowest scoring lectures are dropped (two for section A3 and three for sections A1, A2, and A4).
No makeup quizzes will be given.
A missed discussion quiz counts as 0; the lowest discussion quiz score will be dropped.
A missed lab counts as 0; the lowest score for the one-period lab experiments will be dropped.
If you miss the two lab period experiment, it can be made up at the make up lab week at the end of the semester.
If, due to unusual circumstances, such as prolonged illness, you miss more than one lab, please contact Dr. Golger
as soon as possible so that special arrangements can be made to catch up with your work.
Overall course score:
After each exam we will provide the distribution of overall course scores so far, on a 1000-point scale, and your individual score so far. These overall scores will take into account the scores on the work completed so far (lecture quizzes, discussion quizzes, labs, and exams). In this way, you will have a measure of how you are doing at that point in the course.
The course grade is based on your overall course score.
There are no fixed percentages of A grades, B grades, etc. Rather, we assign course letter grades based on our assessment of how someone should have performed to receive an A, B, etc. Based on past experience, it is likely that the average grade in the course will be in the C+ range.
Any question concerning the grading of a lecture exam, quiz,
or laboratory report must be brought to the attention of your discussion
or laboratory teaching fellow during the class session in which
it is returned to you; material will not be accepted for
Indicate on the face of the exam, quiz or laboratory report the questions
you wish re-graded and your reasons for believing that they were mis-graded. The entire work will be re-graded. Be sure you have made no alterations
in your work. We occasionally photocopy your graded work as a check. Please
note that the penalties for academic misconduct are severe, as detailed
in Boston University's Academic Conduct Code,
Learning chemistry requires persistence, diligence and hard work. We suggest that you plan to spend about 15 hours per week on this course over and above the scheduled class contact hours. If you are willing to devote this time, and you spend it wisely and effectively, you will be able to perform your best. In an effort to provide some more specific guidance, we offer detailed suggestions here
The teaching staff will hold office hours throughout each
week. These and many others resources are detailed here
If you are experiencing difficulty, please come to see your lecture professor or Professor Golger without delay. Often, students in this course perceive that they are doing poorer work than they actually are. Particularly for first-year students, we recognize that it may be difficult for you to judge your academic standing in the course, since we do not use the same type of grading scheme with which you may be familiar from high school. That is why it is important for you to speak to us before making any major decision, such as dropping the course.
If dropping the course appears to be in your best interest, we still would like to work through the decision with you. We are also happy to advise you on appropriate choices for your academic program. If you drop the course by
Tuesday, October 9, no record of it will appear on your transcript.
After that date, until the end of the day
Friday, November 9, you may drop the course but with a W grade (withdrawn).
If you must drop the course, note that CH101 will be given during the Summer and Fall sessions of 2019.
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