Spring 2009 seminar schedule.
CHEM 615A Analytical Seminar
Syllabus (click here for printable "doc"
Instructor: Petr Vanýsek
Meeting place: Faraday West 300
Office hours: For the purpose of this course, see me whenever you need me.
Tuesdays (see here for schedule) 16:00-17:00
The purpose of the seminar is to give the student the opportunity to:
(1) organize a talk on a subject which is of general interest; (2) do a library search on
this subject, (to find what others have done in this field); (3) present the material in a
way which will hold the attention of the attending group; (4) participate in each seminar
by asking questions; (5) answer questions to the best of one's ability during the
presentation; and (6) prepare the student for future presentations at scientific meetings
and job interviews.
The seminar can also be used for research presentations
that are required for the degree (e.g., research update, candidacy, thesis
The following requirements must be met before presenting a
(1) The date for the presentation is tentatively chosen by
the student before the first seminar meeting. The final assignment is done by the
instructor at the first (orientation) meeting of the semester, with attempt to accommodate
(2) Each student in 2nd-6th semester presents in one
academic year two seminars; one on a literature topic, the other on a thesis/dissertation
research. Students in the 7th-8th semester present one seminar; the first semester
students participate only by observation. The literature topic must be an original; you
cannot reuse material which you presented elsewhere. For the fall semester the student can
choose one of the two; in the spring, the complement must be presented. The length of the
literature topic presentation should not exceed 20-30 minutes, as sometimes we schedule 2
speakers for one day. This time must also allow for discussion. It is good to do a
"dry run", to practice the presentation at home and get the correct timing.
Candidacy and thesis presentation will typically require more time and enough time should
be allocated after consulting with the research advisor (for candidacy and defense, make
sure the seminar room is reserved for you at least for another additional hour). If your
presentation requires attendance of your committee members, make sure as a courtesy, that
they are apprised of the date ahead of time.
(3) The literature subject of the seminar is chosen by the
student from the 2006-present analytical literature (Analytical Chemistry, Analyst,
Talanta, Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry, Journal of Applied Spectroscopy,
Analytica Chimica Acta, Electrochimica Acta, etc.). The seminar cannot be based on a
review article (e.g., the "A" pages in Analytical Chemistry), but it must be
based on a recent original article. At least three additional references must be consulted
in the seminar preparation (some of these may have been published before 2006, but should
not be review articles). These references must be studied and understood by the student.
These references have to be quoted in the abstract prepared for the presentation and
should be available upon request, during the presentation. The literature subject of the
seminar may NOT be the research which the student is doing or has done. More will be
gained by studying a new field.
(4) The research subject will be typically prepared in
consultation with the research advisor. However, the deadlines for the topic and abstract
posting and inclusion of at least three relevant references still apply.
(5) The student shall consult with the instructor for the
seminar the suitability of the topic and the chosen article for the literature
presentation. At least two weeks before the seminar, the student must give the seminar
instructor an outline of the subject. The source paper, as well as other references,
should be made available to the instructor as well. It is the best if the outline is
already written in such a way that it can be also used as the seminar abstract. An
abstract from the original paper IS NOT an acceptable outline.
(6) One week before the seminar, the student must
distribute an abstract (see the attached example) to the other students who attend the
seminar and to the participating faculty. The best way would be to e-mail the announcement
to everybody. Make only one paper copy and post it on the bulletin board.
(7) Suitable visual aids must be used throughout the
common medium is PowerPoint, but it has its drawbacks and should not be used just
for the sake of its capabilities.
(8) Good instructions for presenting a talk and preparing
visual aids (size of lettering, format, style, etc.) can be found in the book "The
Art of Scientific Writing" by H. F. Ebel, C. Bliefert and W. E. Russey, pages 339-349
(VCH Publishers, New York 1987). You should own the book. It will be helpful beyond the
seminar in writing your thesis and manuscripts. Order it from the web.
Introduction - discussion leader. (10% grade)
Aside from the presentation, the students will also serve
in this role, which is a component in any scientific presentation. The student who is
giving a presentation will be introduced by the student who gave the previous
presentation, and will be introducing the following presentation. Please, obtain the
biographical information for the student whom you will be introducing. Be also able to
lead the discussion (have questions ready from the abstract.) If there is no available
person to be the leader, I will designate one.
Grading: The seminar carries a letter grade evaluation.
Some of the points considered will be clarity of the presentation (20%), understanding of
the presented subject (15%), quality of visual aids (15 %), ability to answer questions
(10%), demeanor and appearance (10%). Discussion participation in presentations by others
throughout the semester is also important component that counts toward the grade
(20%). Each item will be graded on the scale A-F, i.e., superior, good, average,
passing and failure. Since the participation is essential to the seminar, presence
of all is required. I will consider an excuse for an absence, but it must be substantial
The form of the abstract is:
(name of the advisor)
Research talk/Literature talk
Abstract (15 - 25 lines)
Write the abstract in your own words; do not copy the one from the journal. After you have
written the abstract, check with your advisor who may have some helpful input.
Examples of Periodical Citations (as per Applied Spectroscopy):
1. T. H. Siddall, III. and R. N. Wilhite,
Appl. Spectrosc. 20, 41 (1966).
2. W. A. Rosenblith, Phys. Today 19, No.
1, 23 (1966).
3. A. Baidedaev and A. A. Senkevich,
"Vibrational Relaxation in Gases," Akust. Zh. 9, 279 (1963) [English transl.:
Sov. Phys.-Acoust. 9, 229 (1964)].
(Remember to have copies of these references available for questions during your
Periodicals - the ordering is as follows:
(1) Initials and name(s) of author(s) followed
by a comma. In a multi author entry the name of the last author is preceded by 'and'
without previous comma; other authors are separated by a comma.
(2) Periodical name with no comma following.
Periodical abbreviations are those published in Chemical Abstracts List of Abbreviations
1961 (and annual supplements). Most of the common journals have their abbreviations listed
in the Ebel et al. book. If you do not know the proper abbreviation and are unable to
locate it in the Chemical Abstracts List (a special occasional volume of Chem. Abstracts),
spell out completely the name of the periodical. Do not underline.
(3) Volume number. This is boldfaced, i.e., 19.
(4) Issue number, only if pages are not
numbered consecutively from one issue to the next (volume pagination as opposed to issue
(5) Beginning page number(s). These should be
included even when, as in some monographs and supplements, the article cited may be the
whole issue. Increasingly and to the benefit of the reader, many journals now require both
the first and last page of the article (e.g., 41-55). If you adopt this format, be
consistent and use it in all your references.
(6) Year of publication, enclosed in
parentheses, followed by a period.
(7) In most publications the references do not
include the title of the journal article. However, it might be helpful for the reader to
see the title. In such case, follow example 3.
Inception: 20 August 2003
Last revised: 25 February 2009
© Petr Vanýsek
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