Monday, January 26, 2009

Carmen Drahl visits my lab at Drexel

On Wednesday Jan 21, 2009 I had the pleasure of spending the day with Carmen Drahl from Chemical and Engineering News. She showed up bright and early an hour before my class (CHEM242) started at 9:00. And this was helpful because we had to get her computer set up on the Drexel wireless system.

That morning I was running a Second Life "race", where students compete to complete a series of questions about basic material they should recall from last term's organic chemistry course (CHEM241). Nobody completed the quiz within the duration of the class so there was no actual winner. Regardless of the motivation, the exercise of actually attempting these quizzes certainly can't hurt for the upcoming test this week. Carmen is to my right in this picture and the others next to the quiz obelisks are students:

Carmen spent the rest of the day trying to get an idea of what my students and I do on a typical day. She looked at the equipment we use to measure solubility and we discussed the Open Notebook Science Challenge in detail. This was a good opportunity to demonstrate the value of the interactive ways we have of querying the solubility data, mainly thanks to Rajarshi Guha and Andrew Lang. Finally I showed her how I use FriendFeed to collaborate and rapidly share scientific information with colleagues. This should make for an interesting read when it comes out in a few weeks.

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