Lecture Syllabus

Fall 2011

Section 002  Tu/Th 3:00 4:15  

Innovation Hall 103


Text: Chemistry, The Molecular Nature of Matter and Change
by M. S. Silberberg   6th Edition, McGraw-Hill (2011)
Instructor: Dr. Keith M. Davies     Office: 410 Occoquan, PW1 / ST1 331
Email:     Tel: 703-993-1075
Office Hours:
Tu/Th 10:30-11:30,1:30-2:30 (ST1 331)

MWF (410 Occoquan, PW1), or by appointment  




    Chapter in Text  
    30, 1 1 Matter and Measurement
Sept    6,  8 2 The Components of Matter
   13, 15             3 Stoichiometry  Quiz 1. Sept 15  (Ch. 1,2)
   20, 22 3, 4 Classes of Chemical Reactions
   27, 29 4 Exam I - Sept 29  (Ch. 1-3)  
Oct    4 , 6 5 Gases
                    Columbus Day Recess (No CHEM 211 class on Oct 11th)
      13 6 Thermochemistry   Quiz 2.  Oct 13 (Ch. 4,5)
   18, 20 6, 7 Quantum Theory and Atomic Structure   
   25, 27 7 Exam II - Oct 27  (Ch. 4-7) 
Nov    1 , 3 8 Electronic Configuration and  Periodicity
     8, 10 9 Chemical Bonding   Quiz 3. Nov 10 (Ch. 8-9)  
   15, 17 10 Shapes of Molecules
      22   Exam III - Nov 22 (Ch. 8-10)   

Thanksgiving Recess   Nov 23-26

    29, 1 11 Covalent Bonding Theories   Quiz 4. Dec 1 (Ch. 11)                  
Dec    6, 8 12 Solids, Liquids and Intermolecular Forces
      15   Final Exam (cumulative) 1:30 - 4:15 p.m.



Grading Mid-Term Exams 30%
  Final Exam 20%
  Quizzes 10%
  Homework (Connect) 15%
  Lab 25%



Course Content and Policies.

CHEM 211 is the first semester of a two semester General Chemistry sequence for students majoring in science and mathematics, or preparing for entry into health professional programs such as medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and veterinary science. CHEM 211 will provide a comprehensive introduction to the basic principles of chemistry including atomic and molecular structure, properties of gases, liquids and solids, reaction stoichiometry of chemical change and thermochemistry. Emphasis will be placed on quantitative aspects, particularly when discussing gas laws and chemical change. The importance of developing critical thinking and problem solving skills will be stressed throughout the course. 

Student Preparation. Success in General Chemistry is determined largely by the amount of time that a student puts into the course outside of the classroom. A number of learning aids are available (lecture notes, textbook, study guide, homework and a textbook web site learning center Connect Chemistry). Different approaches to learning will work for different students. Some will learn mostly from the textbook, while others will be stimulated by an animated/interactive web site. The most important thing is to spend a minimum of several hours a week working on the course material using the learning method or methods that work best for you. Since numerical chemical calculations constitute a large part of many chapters (and of scheduled tests and quizzes), practicing numerical problems should constitute a large part of your preparation. 

Make Up Exam Policy.  An absence from an exam will be excused ONLY if adequate  documentation is provided. (e.g.  an official  note from a physician, preferably ahead of the exam date). For an excused absence, the mid-term exam% for the course will  be determined from the mean of the other two mid-terms (i.e. the point values of the other two exams will be increased proportionately to cover the missed exam). Only one missed mid-term exam will be permitted (a second missed  exam will result in a zero score for the exam). All students must take the Final Exam to pass the course.  

Grading Policies.  Grades will not be based on a 100% scale ( A equates to 90+%,  B to 80+%, etc) but  relative to the rest of the class.  The class average will be equated to a high C, and the rest of the grades will be determined relative to this norm.

Power Point Materials. The outline of each lecture presented in class using MS Power Point slides is posted on Blackboard. The material is discussed and explained in more detail in the textbook, which should be read separately. The recommended end-of-chapter problems should also be attempted. Practicing numerical problems is the best way to digest the material covered in class and to prepare for examinations and quizzes.

BLACKBOARD    Course materials and announcements will be posted on BLACKBOARD, which can be accessed through the following links: GMU / MY MASON / Login / COURSES / 9.1 Course List / CHEM 211-002 (Fall 2011) / Syllabus - Course Content.

Laboratory Course. To complete the CHEM 211 course, each student must also enroll and obtain a passing grade in a CHEM 211 lab class. If a student is repeating the course and has previously obtained a passing grade in the lab (at GMU or elsewhere) he/she can be exempt from the lab. To achieve this, the student must provide evidence of their prior lab grade and fill out a Lab waiver form in the chemistry office (ST 343). They must also notify the lecture instructor of their lab exempt status.  

Homework, Quizzes and End-of-Chapter Practice Problems. The recommended homework and problem sets are designed to help students digest and comprehend the course material, by working on it regularly prior to the mid-term examinations. To be successful in CHEM 211, it is essential that you attempt  many of the Practice Problems, which are listed at the end of each chapter. This will help you to maximize your understanding of the course material, and sharpen your problem-solving skills in preparation for the examinations.

Office of Disability Services.  If you are a student with a disability and need academic accommodations, please contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS) at (703) 993-2474. All academic accommodations must be arranged through the ODS. Refer to

GMU Email Accounts.  Students enrolled in CHEM 211 must activate their GMU email accounts to receive messages related to this class. Contact with students in the class will only be made through GMU email. It is important that your account is not full (OVER QUOTA) or important messages will not get to you.  

GMU Honor Code. GMU is an Honor Code university and the principle of academic integrity is taken very seriously.  A detailed description of the code and the honor committee process is shown in the University Catalog. Violations of the honor code will be treated gravely. .




Important Fall 2011 Dates            


Last day to add Tues  Sept 6

Last day to drop

Fri  Sept 30

Mid-term progress reports  

Sept 26 Oct 21


Selective withdrawal

Oct 3 Oct 28

Thanksgiving recess

Nov 23 - 26

Last meeting of CHEM 211 class

Thurs  Dec 8

Final Exam Thurs  Dec 15  (1:30-4:15)


 Important GMU Web Sites

Patriot Web

Academic Advising Center

Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs

GMU Catalog

Chemistry and Biochemistry Department