The Computer’s Role in Undergraduate Chemistry Education: Report on a Study for UNESCO

  • Peter Lykos


The computer is affecting all of chemistry in a comprehensive manner. The rapidly decreasing cost of minicomputer total systems and the emerging inexpensive microprocessors make it possible to bring computer support to chemistry departments anywhere. In addition, telecommunications facilitate computer networking so that specialized resources may be shared with the minicomputer providing the interface to computer networks. The computer affects chemistry and hence chemistry education both as an aid to teaching and as an enhancement to the doing of chemistry. Three course outlines are given: (1) the computer in experimental chemistry; (2) modern techniques of handling chemical information; and (3) numerical methods in chemistry. Numerous examples of computer programs in use in many college and university chemistry departments are described briefly, including a simple approach to computer-assisted instruction in freshman chemistry. A model chemistry department-wide computer support system is sketched. The question of faculty training is addressed. The complete report is being distributed by UNESCO; Division of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Paris.


Undergraduate Education Chemistry Education Chemistry Curriculum Computer Assisted Instruction Sample Entry 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    K.J. Johnson and L.M. Epstein, “Pitt’s Computer Generated Repeatable Chemistry Exam”, University of Pittsburgh Bookstore, Pittsburgh, Penna., USA.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Profs. D. Beveridge and B. Bulkin, “Computer in Chemistry” private communication, Hunter College, NY, NY, USA. Adapted to IIT’s chemistry curriculum.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    P.E. Fanta and S.I. Miller, “Modern Techniques in Chemical Information”, J. Chem. Doc. 11, 98 (1971). The course outline follows “Workbook and Syllabus. Modern Techniques in Chemical Information” by E.S. Schwartz, M.E. Williams and P.E. Fanta, Copyright 1969, IIT Research Institute, Chicago, Illinois.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    K.J. Johnson, “Numerical Methods in Chemistry,” Univ. of Pittsburgh Bookstore, Pittsburgh, Penna, USA. The course outline follows the text which evolved with the course.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    R.E. Dessy and J. Titus, “Instant Interfacing”, Analytical Chem. 46, #3 March 1974 pp 294A-302A.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    “Computer Networking and Chemistry”, P. Lykos, Ed., ACS Symposium Series #19, 1976, Am. Chem. Soc.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    “Introduction to Computer Programming for Chemists” BASIC Version”, Wilkins, Klopfenstein, Isenhour and Jurs, Allyn and Bacon (1974). It has three parts: Basic computer concepts and the BASIC computer language, 52 BASIC programs for chemistry, and several Appendicies.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Proceedings of the Conference on Computers in Chemical Education and Research, NIU, 19–23 July 71, contains 60 papers, NTIS, Springfield, VA. 22161, USA. Accession number for the two volumes are PB 248880/AS and PB 248881/AS. Microfiche (1, $2.25; 2, $2.25). Hard copy (1, $9.75; 2, $10.50). Also proceedings of annual conferences (since 1970) on computers in undergraduate curricula available from CCUC, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 55242, USA.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Lykos
    • 1
  1. 1.Illinois Institute of TechnologyChicagoUSA

Personalised recommendations