The Big Picture

Course Goals

Chem 351 provides an introduction to how we can use mathematical techniques to extract useful information from data. As with any area of chemistry, the field of chemometrics is too broad to cover in a single semester; our content-specific goals are relatively modest; these are to:

In addition to these content-specific goals, we also have several growth-oriented goals that are important to your development as a student in STEM; these are to...

Working Toward Success in Chem 351

Whatever your background in chemistry, specifically, and in STEM, more generally, in addition to your usual commitments—attending class and lab, completing assignments, and preparing for exams, to name a few items—commit yourself to...

The Nitty-Gritty Details

Textbook and Other Resources

The primary text for this course is Analytical Chemistry 2.1, a free digitial textbook that provides a broad introduction to analytical chemistry. You can download the text, or selected chapters, using this link. Reading assignments from the text are provided on the course's class schedule page. Additional resources are available on either the course's class schedule page or the course's archive page.

An important part of the course is learning to use the software package R to process and to analyze data; thus, you will need regular access to a laptop computer during class.

Course Structure

In general, the course follows a simple pattern: we first introduce a new chemometric method by focusing on its basic mathematical theory, using a simple data set to illustrate concepts and calculations. Before the next class session you will complete a short problem set of one or two problems. The purpose of a short problem set is to appreciate and understand the relevant calculations using a data set that is sufficiently small that you can tackle it using no more than a pen, some paper, and a calculator.

A small data set, of course, does not have sufficient complexity to demonstrate the nuances of and the power of a chemometric method; thus, after we review your work on the short problem set, we will learn how to use R to work with more complex data sets. Finally, a long problem set will provide you with the opportunity to tackle more realistic problems.

In addition to completing short problem sets and long problem sets, you also will complete three take-home exams.


Your final grade is determined using the following percentages:

Letter grades are assigned using the following scale:

A (>92) A- (92-90)
B+ (89-87) B (86-83) B- (82-80)
C+ (79-77) C (76-73) C- (72-70)
D+ (69-67) D (66-63) D- (62-60)
F (<60)

Final averages are not rounded; to earn a grade of B instead of a grade of B-, for example, you need a final average of ≥ 83.0. These ranges are fixed with the following caveat:

Office Hours

Feel free to stop by my office (Julian 364) without an appointment at any of these times:

If you wish to schedule an appointment at another time, please catch me after class or lab, send me an email, or drop by my office.

Due Dates

Because I value thoughtful, well-written and well-reasoned work more than absolute deadlines, the due dates for most assignments are intentionally flexible. Unless otherwise specified, there is no penalty for turning in an assignment late if I am still in the process of grading the assignment; however, once I finish grading a set of assignments, any missing work receives a grade of zero (no exceptions).

Flexibility in due dates is not a license to procrastinate. To make this policy work requires communication. If you need additional time, then you must meet with me before the assignment's due date so that you can show me the work you have completed and explain what work remains and when you believe you will be prepared to turn in the assignment. Together we will work on a reasonable extension.

Note: The due dates for short problem sets are absolute deadlines as we will review answers during class.


A textbook is a poor substitute for the active learning that takes place in classroom. Although attendance for class sessions is not required, I encourage you to take advantage of our time together by engaging fully with the material and with your classmates during class. Whether you miss class for a legitimate reason or simply need a day off, it is your responsibility to know and to understand the material covered that day. Ask a classmate for a copy of his or her notes and visit the course website for copies of any handouts. Please note that we cannot take class time to review material for students who miss class.

Selected DePauw University Academic Policies

Academic Integrity

Although you may make frequent use of external resources (e.g. the internet, the library, other students) when an completing assignment it is important that the work you submit represents your understanding of the assignment and your work. A failure to do so is unethical and a serious breach of academic integrity. Be sure to review DePauw's guidelines for academic integrity, which are included in the Student Handbook; in particular, review the examples of plagiarism. Although often unintentional, plagiarism nevertheless is a serious violation and can result in a significant reduction in your grade for an assignment or for the course.

Be sure to consult with me if you are unsure about any issue concerning academic integrity.

Disability Services

It is the policy and practice of DePauw University to provide reasonable accommodations for students with properly documented disabilities. Written notification from Student Disability Services is required. If you are eligible to receive an accommodation and would like to request it for this course, please contact Student Disability Services. Allow one week advance notice to ensure enough time for reasonable accommodations to be made. Otherwise, it is not guaranteed that the accommodation can be provided on a timely basis. Accommodations are not retroactive. Students who have questions about Student Disability Services or who have, or think they may have, a disability (psychiatric, attentional, learning, vision, hearing, physical, medical, etc.) are invited to contact Student Disability Services for a confidential discussion in Union Building Suite 200 or by phone at 658-6267.

Religious Accomodations

DePauw University accommodates students who are adherents of a religious tradition and wish to fulfill obligations of that religious tradition on holy days. Students are expected to notify their instructors of their intent to fulfill the obligations of their religious tradition well in advance of these days. For the sake of this policy, “holy days” are defined as periods of time in which either activities required by normal class participation are prohibited by a religious tradition, or a special worship obligation is required by a religious tradition.