Behind The Scenes | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 90 Issue 29 | pp. 12-16
Issue Date: July 16, 2012

Cover Stories: 44th International Chemistry Olympiad

Behind The Scenes: Scientific Committee Put In Long Hours To Draft Olympiad Exam Questions

Department: ACS News
Keywords: ACS, education, olympiad, IChO

For more than two years, the dedicated volunteers who serve on the Scientific Committee for the 44th International Chemistry Olympiad have worked to prepare the questions for both the practical and theoretical exams that students will take later this month. Michael P. Doyle, professor and chair of the department of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Maryland, College Park, cochaired the committee with his department colleague Andrei N. Vedernikov, a professor and former IChO gold medalist.

Many of the committee members have participated in prior olympiads as competitors or as mentors, Vedernikov notes. “As a result, they understand the many facets of the event and are aware that the students who compete as olympians possess chemistry knowledge and skills that are well above some university chemistry graduate students.” The members of the committee are shown here, grouped by affiliation:

Georgetown University, Department of Chemistry (Washington, D.C.)

Kaveh Jorabchi, assistant professor

Rider University, Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry & Physics (Lawrenceville, N.J.)

Bruce S. Burnham, associate professor of chemistry

Scripps Research Institute (La Jolla, Calif.)

J. L. Kiappes, graduate student

State University of New York, Oneonta, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

John C. Kotz, professor emeritus

University of Maryland, College Park, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Michael P. Doyle, professor and chair

Daniel E. Falvey, professor

George R. Helz, professor emeritus

Douglas A. Julin, associate professor

Sang Bok Lee, associate professor

Amy S. Mullin, professor

Garegin A. Papoian, associate professor

Andrei N. Vedernikov, professor

Natalia White, lecturer

University of North Dakota, Department of Chemical Engineering (Grand Forks, N.D.)

Evguenii I. (Jenya) Kozliak, professor

University of Notre Dame, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry (Notre Dame, Ind.)

Seth N. Brown, associate professor

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Bob Buntrock (Thu Jul 26 15:15:33 EDT 2012)
Congratulations and best of luck to all partcipants, mentors, exam preparers and scorers, and others associated with the 44th IChO.

However, I'd like to point out that many more mentors, students and others are involved in the US alone in preparing for the International IChO competitions. Dozens of US ACS Local Sections participate in the qulaifying portions of the exam process. Most administer "Local" qualifying exams to determine which students can participate in the National qualifying exam, typically held the 3rd weekend of April. The number of student slots available is dependent on the size of membership of the Local Section.

Although the Local Exams are deemed similar in difficulty to the chemistry AP exams, the philosophy followed by many Sections is give as many students as possible an opportunity to take the exam since the exam process is edcuational for both students and teachers even if the students advance no further. That's the philosphy we try to follow in the Maine Section and we're blessed with a number of teachers who believe the same. We're a large Section in area but small in membership so we need all the support we can get.

-- Bob Buntrock
Coordinator, USNCO MEACS (8th year)

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