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CHEM 102 — Modern Chemistry: How Chemical Concepts Drive Innovation

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Thursdays
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 6 weeks
Date(s): Sep 26—Nov 7
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Drop Deadline: Oct 9
Unit: 1
Tuition: $360
Instructor(s): Roi Rutenberg
Status: Closed
Please Note: No class on October 17
7:00—8:50 pm
Sep 26—Nov 7
6 weeks
Drop By
Oct 9
1 Unit
Roi Rutenberg
Please Note: No class on October 17
Advances in chemistry have revolutionized our lives in diverse ways—whether through vaccines, clean energy, plastics, or LCD screens. Tomorrow’s innovations will build on the same classic principles that chemists have historically used.

In this course, we will explore chemistry’s primal origins up through modern advances, with examples brought to life through demonstrations in class. We will begin by talking about some essential building blocks in chemistry, including matter, chemical bonds, and reaction types. Drawing on this foundation, we will explore key moments in history defined by successes (and failures) in applying chemistry and chemical concepts. For example, we will learn how issues with the chemical bonding of tin in colder climates may have contributed to Napoleon’s defeats in Russia. Next, we will explore ways that chemistry—often in intersection with other leading research fields—has driven innovation in a range of areas from biomaterials to noninvasive treatments for tumors. For example, we will highlight the 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, which was awarded for the development of cryogenic electron microscopy, an extremely high-resolution imaging process that has allowed new insights into the intricate structures of proteins and other biomolecules. Finally, we will imagine exciting and promising technologies of tomorrow, including how we might encode memories on DNA, terraform Mars, or develop new products and processes such as unlimited renewable energy, air-fueled cars, or photosynthetic people. Guest speakers include Stanford postdoctoral research fellows Christoph Bannwarth and Jan Meisner.

Roi Rutenberg, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Chemistry, Stanford

Roi Rutenberg focuses on designing cellulose-based biomaterials that could help alleviate hospital-acquired infections. His earlier research concerned agriculture and drug discovery, and designing a noninvasive treatment for malignant tumors. His work has been published in Chemical Communications and ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, and he received a PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.