Chemistry is truly the central science and underpins much of the efforts of scientists and engineers to improve life for humankind. TheMIT Department of Chemistryis taking a leading role in discovering new chemical synthesis, catalysis, creating sustainable energy, theoretical and experimental understanding of chemistry, improving the environment, detecting and curing disease, developing materials new properties, and nanoscience.
The Chemistry Education Office staff is responsible for administering the educational programs in the Department of Chemistry. Students can find answers to many questions about the undergraduate and graduate programs on the department website, and they are encouraged to stop by and see the staff in the office located in 6-205.
The student-run outreach programs in the Department of Chemistry aim to bring the excitement of chemical sciences to the community through lively demonstrations designed to illustrate a broad range of chemical principles. Graduate students visit science classes in high schools and middle schools in the Greater Boston area with a view to demystifying chemistry through hands-on experiments. ClubChem, an undergraduate chemistry organization, conducts Chemistry Magic Shows for elementary schools and youth programs in the Greater Boston area.
Chemistry is truly the central science and underpins much of the efforts of scientists and engineers to improve life for humankind. MIT Chemistry is taking a leading role in discovering new chemical synthesis, catalysis, creating sustainable energy, theoretical and experimental understanding of chemistry at its most fundamental level, unraveling the biochemical complexities of natural systems, improving the environment, detecting and curing disease, developing materials new properties, and nanoscience.
Dr. Jeffrey Van Humbeck who is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, will join the department as an assistant professor on July 1, 2014.
The Van Humbeck laboratory will develop new methods for controlling catalytic reactions, and the structure of organic materials. Encompassing many individual projects, three overarching research themes will direct its initial endeavors. One area is selective oligomerization. By incorporating catalysts within restrictive supramolecular volumes, size-selective oligomerization will be pursued in the context of energy applications (i.e. biofuels upgrading) and medicinal chemistry (i.e. polyketide synthesis). In the area of catalysis, the effect of electrostatic elements will also be investigated. The judicious inclusion of charged units into catalyst structures will be investigated with a view to improving both efficiency and selectivity in new reactions. Ion pairing as a means of structural control has been explored to a much greater extent in polymers, with the typical units of charge resulting from proton transfer. As an alternative, the inclusion of inherently charged units that lack protons will be pursued, for both functional and structural organic materials. Additionally, the development of charge by electron transfer between redox active centers will be investigated for responsive materials.