My Vitae

My views of education

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My research programs

My instructional programs




PKAL Workshop, The World Wide Web: Strengthening the Undergraduate Learning Environment

Chapel in the Snow
More Pictures by Kraig Steffen

Developing and Using Information Technologies to Teach Chemistry at Columbia University: A Case History


Nicholas J. Turro

William P. Schweitzer of Chemistry

Columbia University

A brief review of the history of the development of information technologies for use in chemical and science education at Columbia University will be presented. The case study may be useful as a model for many campuses irrespective of the specific resources available at any particular institution because the development was initiated, implemented and sustained through the efforts of faculty and students. The essential components of the success of the program are believed to be its overriding commitment to three pillars of teaching and learning: content, context and cognition. The IT tools are seen as one method, and an effective one, of producing good learning and enhancing teaching through the use of information available from research on how students learn and create their own knowledge.

Some examples of the creation of interactive IT tools developed by students (IR Tutor) will be shown and discussed within the framework of the three pillars or teaching and learning.

PDF of Professor Turro's workshop presentation

My Vitae

Nicholas J. Turro is the William P. Schweitzer Professor of Chemistry at Columbia University where he has been since 1964. He was born in Middletown, CT, where he graduated from Wesleyan University in 1960 before going to Caltech for his PhD awarded in 1963. He is the author of "Modern Molecular Photochemistry", the standard text in the field and has published over 700 research papers in established scientific journals. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 60 students have obtained the PhD degree and 160 postdocs have been trained under his supervision. His research interests involve the use of photochemistry and spectroscopy to elucidate the structure and dynamics of supramolecular systems. He has been involved in the development of information technologies for the teaching of science since the early 1990’s. At Columbia University he organized a "Faculty-Student Information Technology Cluster" which provided resources for faculty in the sciences to develop IT tools for use in their courses. After a three year period the activities of the "Cluster" were taken over by the University through the establishment of a Center for New Media for Teaching and Learning.

My views of Education


1) Welcome to my courses: Intensive Organic Chemistry , Moderm Molecular Photochemistry !

2) Learning through technology: Developing and Using Information Technologies to Teach Chemistry

3) What we do for Enhancement of Undergraduate Science Education ?

4) Want to know more about Faculty Cluster for Instructional Technologies ?

5) Want to know more about the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning?

Materials Science and Nanotechnology High School Summer Program
Summer 2008


OLED poster Quantum Dots poster Superconductor Poster

  • Download the 2008 Materials Science and Nanotechnology High School Summer Program Schedule here: .doc


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