P848: Using WebMO throughout the chemistry curriculum to explore molecular shapes, conformations, energy surfaces, spectroscopy, orbitals, and symmetry
Computational modeling is the third pillar of science, alongside experiment and theory. Today’s computational power allows students to understand, predict, and visualize phenomena of great complexity in real systems. The Hope College chemistry curriculum uses a single interface, WebMO, to visualize molecular shapes (general chemistry), compare molecular conformations (organic chemistry), compute potential energy surfaces (physical chemistry), interpret spectra (organic and physical chemistry), use orbital calculations (organic, inorganic, and physical chemistry), and visualize molecular symmetry (inorganic chemistry). This approach minimizes the training and maintenance time for both students and faculty, and it emphasizes that computational chemistry is a tool that is useful throughout the curriculum.