Quantum Chemistry

May 2010

I dreaded taking quantum, but Reichman makes the subject really approachable. At the beginning of each class, he'd talk for a few minutes about whatever had been covered in the last class, which I found to make the class a lot easier. He always spoke clearly (which was refreshing after a semester with Cacciuto), and the lectures seemed to go in a logical order. The grading in the course seems pretty generous. Since pretty much everyone who takes it is either a chem, biochem, or chemical physics major, the class is curved to a B+ (though in cases when everyone does really well on a test, he curves those to an A-). He teaches the material from the book, but in a way that I found much easier to understand than just reading. There are weekly problem sets that are usually about 5 problems, and at some point in the semester, the problems all come directly from the book. He's also just sort of an eccentric guy. He'll tell random anecdotes from when he was in grad school, or talk about how even elephants have wave equations. It's nice, because it snaps you back to reality after your mind wanders...

Apr 2008

I'd like to start by pointing out that unless you're a chemistry or biochem major who needs to take this class as a requirement, you should just steer clear of it. Quantum chemistry is NO joke!!! That said, to those who HAVE to take it, this is what you're in for: My compliments to Prof. Chapman. I think she's an all-around great professor. She's very knowledgeable of the material and genuinely cares about making students understand. The subject matter was ridiculously tough and pretty abstract but I think she handled it well, and was always available for help. There's no way you can even survive this course unless you go regularly for help anyway. Plus there are weekly graded problem sets, worth 24% of your grade. Those p-sets are killers!! They require A LOT of thinking and calculations; and you should start them as soon as you get them. Also, I must say that this course has very little qualitative chem material. It's almost entirely calculus and belongs more in the math department. Do yourself a favor, and take this class in one of your light semesters. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO PAIR THIS CLASS UP WITH ANY OTHER CHALLENGING COURSE. Also the lectures are all powerpoint slides. Some ppl say thats not efficient because you can't teach math on powerpoint but the advantage is that the slides are on courseworks and you can return to them anytime.