Supporting Chemical Concepts with Mathematica

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Izaak Fryer-Kanssen –  PhD, Chemical Theory and Computational Research, Chemistry

Whilst Undergraduate students in Chemistry are not required to have a formal mathematics qualification beyond GCSE level, large sections of physical chemistry require a familiarity and confidence with maths. The Chemistry department provides well-structure maths support, especially to first year undergraduates, where there is an opportunity for students to develop mathematical confidence by taking advantage of the Mathematica computer algebra program, which is available for use by students.

This project aims to develop and collate online resources to support undergraduates in their ability to apply Mathematica to problems in physical chemistry.  This resource will help students use and understand the many functionalities of the Mathematica program, such as algebra, trigonometry, calculus, graph plotting and data visualisation, with a focus on their applications in chemistry.

The beneficial outcomes of this project include:

  • Developing students mathematical capabilities at an early stage will have a positive impact throughout the degree program, aiding their understanding across a broad range of chemical topics.
  • With online resources accessible 24-7, this will free up more staff contact time to be devoted to the chemistry itself rather than in the develop of supporting skills.
  • Mathematica has been widely adopted through academia and industry and so the skills obtained will be widely transferable, enhancing employability.

This project is now complete. See the Case Study: Supporting Chemical Concepts with Mathematica

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