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9.1. Purpose

Seminars given by students fulfill an important educational function. Research chemists are often called upon to give oral presentations on their own research or the research of others, including seminars, which tend to focus on topics of interest to an audience with expertise in a given area of chemistry, and colloquia, which are delivered for a general audience of chemists. Such presentations and the discussions which normally follow provide one of the most important means of communication in chemistry. It is necessary to learn how to give good seminars and to benefit from the discussions that take place afterwards. Like other things we learn, this takes some effort and practice. By practicing these skills before the faculty, the student also helps them keep up-to-date on ongoing advances in research.

9.2. Ph.D. Seminars

A Ph.D. Candidate presents at least two seminars and a colloquium, which are open to the entire Department. Of these, the first will be a literature seminar, presented in the student’s second semester as part of CHE 582. Students who elect to complete Option 2 of the Second Meeting requirement (see Section 6.4) will present another literature seminar in the fourth semester in CHE 619. In the third year, each student will enroll in either CHE 693, 694, or 696, and will give a departmental seminar describing their own research. Biological chemistry students will enroll in CHE 694 each subsequent year they are in the program through the fifth year, and organic chemistry students will enroll in CHE 696 each year until they graduate, and present their research annually in these seminar courses.

  1. The CHE 582 Literature Seminar presentation is to be based on topics from the current literature that are unrelated to the student's previous research activities. The topic may, however, be related to a potential research problem. This seminar is approximately one-half hour in length and is graded on the chemistry scale.
  2. The CHE 619 Literature Seminar presentation is approximately one-half hour in length and graded on the chemistry scale (see Section 8.4). The topic may be assigned by the course coordinator or chosen in consultation with the course coordinator and the student’s ACC.
  3. The research seminar for CHE 693/694/696 is a half-hour seminar on the student’s research. It should include a background introduction, a statement of research goals, and a presentation of results and conclusions. The research seminars in CHE 693/694/696 will be presented in conjunction with CHE 619.
  4. As part of the Dissertation Defense (see Section 10.3), each student will present a departmental colloquium summarizing their research and results.