Meeting Times: Mon/Wed/Fri 1145-1250pm, Thu 1130-1235pm, Dante, Room 115

Office Hours: Mon 630-830pm, Wed 915-1115am, by appointment (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) Brousseau Hall, Room 312

Text: General Chemistry (4th Ed.) by Mcquarrie. ISBN: 978-1-891389-60-3

Textbook + Students Solutions Manual: ISBN 978-1-891389-75-7

Also available electronically as CourseSmart Book.

Prerequisites: High School Chemistry (or equivalent) and eligibility for enrollment in Math 13 based on the math placement exam.

Learning Goals: 1) Build an understanding of fundamental principles of chemistry and their applications. 2) Develop general approaches to problem-solving which can be applied to a broad spectrum of problems, including proficiency in unit conversion and an understanding of the significance of numerical values (e.g., magnitude, significant figures). 3) Develop the student's critical thinking skills, enabling them to solve chemistry problems that incorporate their mastery of the material and cumulative knowledge of the course.

Disability Services: "Student Disability Services extends reasonable and appropriate accommodations that take into account the context of the course and its essential elements for individuals with qualifying disabilities. Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact the Student Disability Services Office at (925) 631-4358 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to arrange a confidential appointment to discuss accommodation guidelines and available services. Additional information regarding the services available may be found at the following address on the Saint Mary’s website:"

Class Preparation: Most of the class will consist of student-led group work. I will circulate among the groups and give feedback and guidance. It will be interactive and fun. How much you gain from class meetings will depend on how prepared you are to participate.

Before each class meeting you should check the assignment page and 1) read the assigned chapter sections and 2) watch the short (10-15 min) lecture video. There will be a short in-class multiple choice quiz on the reading and movies (3 pts/quiz). The quiz is open note. You may use your notes from the reading and movies to complete the quiz. Reading and preparation videos are assigned on a daily basis and are required preparation for class! Please see the calendar for the daily reading. So for instance, to prepare for class on the 2nd of Sept you should, at least the day before, look ahead on the assignment page for the assigned reading and video resources for the 2nd.

Each class preparation quiz is open note, will take no more than 5 minutes, and will be worth 3-pts.

Homework:  Assigned end of chapter problems.

Assigned chapter problems can be found on the Assignments link and are summarized on the Problems Link. You should keep up with homework on a DAILY basis, therefore, the daily assignment is given on the calendar. I will collect homework every Wednesday. Anyone needing help with homework assignments should visit me during scheduled office hours or schedule a one-on-one appointment. Other resources, such as the STEM Center, will also be available to help you strengthen your problem-solving skills. I will look for overall completeness of the homework and carefully grade three homework problems (chosen at random). You must show all work in your homework assignments. Quizzes will be every Wednesday at the start of class. The weekly in-class quizzes will take no more than 10 minutes of class time. Most quiz questions will be exact replicas of the homework problems from the text.

It is extremely important that you keep up with the reading and do ALL the homework on a daily basis. Homework assignments are designed to guide you in your study of the material and should be considered the minimum set of problems to do. It is up to you to work as many problems as necessary to clarify your understanding of any particular topic.

STEM Center: Location- second floor of Assumption Hall. Saint Mary's STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Center offers students tutoring hours to accommodate students’ work schedules, cohort building activities, study space, and Gateway testing. The goal of the center is to provide a place for students to improve the skills needed to be successful in chemistry and other science courses. Hours: Sunday from 6-9 PM, Monday-Thursday 12-9 PM. The center is staffed by at least two tutors. This center is not another lecture section but a place to learn study skills, study together with peers, collaborate in learning. Students can attend the center as often as they wish and there will be 1 point awarded for each day the student attends up to a maximum of 30 points for the entire semester. Students must attend the Center for one hour to earn the point. Please contact prof Sigman if you have any questions about attending the Center.

How to Succeed in this class:

  • Before each class
    • Read assigned chapter sections and watch online videos lectures/tutorials. Take notes.
  • In-class
    • Be prepared to actively participate in small group discussion
    • Ask questions
    • Take clear notes recording your activities
  • After class
    • Reflect on the days material and summarize the worksheets and reading in your notebook
    • Do homework assignment (this should be done DAILY!)
    • Attend ChemSMC to get help with homework and pick up extra credit problems
  • Before exams
    • Rework as many homework problems as possible, focusing on the problems you cannot start and finish without using your notes or the text
  • The first time you attempt a homework problem you will need to refer to example problems in your text and class. You may also need to look at the solution manual. This is fine. However, it is essential, that you go back and re-practice the problems until you can do them without referring to any of the resources! If you can do that you will do brilliantly on the exams.

The importance of working problems cannot be overemphasized!

Take advantage of the small class size and individual attention. Work together on assignments, attend ChemSMC, and see me in my office as often as possible. Contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for an appointment.

Academic Honesty: Saint Mary’s College expects every member of its community to abide by the Academic Honor Code.  According to the Code, “Academic dishonesty is a serious violation of College policy because, among other things, it undermines the bonds of trust and honesty between members of the community.”  Violations of the Code include but are not limited to acts plagiarism.  For more information, please consult the Student Handbook at

Testing: Quizzes will be given every Wednesday and will focus specifically on your understanding of the assigned problems from the text. The quizzes will take no more than 10 minutes of class time. The quiz questions will be exact replicas of the homework problems. It is extremely important that you keep up with the reading and do ALL the homework on a daily basis.

There will be 3 one-hour long exams during the semester. The exams will test your ability to adapt and apply your understanding and problem-solving skills to new and somewhat unfamiliar situations, rather than ones patterned exactly like those you have seen before. Simply repeating facts or mechanically producing solutions to familiar problems will not help you excel. In fact, there will be some questions/problems on every exam that are a bit different than the ones presented in class or in the textbook.

The comprehensive final exam will be scheduled during final exam week (see schedule below).

Exam Dates

Exam #1 TBD (Chapters 1-4)

Exam #2 April 11th (Chapters 5-10)

Exam #3 Last Thu of classes (Chapters 11-15)

Final Exam (All assigned Chapters) Tuesday May 21st at 6:30-9:30 p.m in Claeys Lounge, Soda Center.

Alternative exam arrangements will be considered only for excused absences with prior notification.

Grading: Your grade will be based on your performance on the reading PreAssignmnets and PreQuizzes (3 pts each, ~50 pts max), 10 homework quizzes (15 pts each), homework (100 pts), three midterm exams (150 points each), a comprehensive final exam (200 points). Total 950 points. 

30 extra credit points will be available through attendance at STEMCenter.

Final letter grades will be assigned according to the percentage of points that you accumulate during the semester. The ranges for letter grades will be:

A = 100-90% A- 89-85% 

B+ = 84-80% B = 79-75% B- = 74-70% 

C+ = 69-65% C = 64-60% C- = 59-55%

D = 54% or below

F = 40 % or below

Your exact letter grade will be determined by a number of factors, including your performance on the final exam, the consistency of your performance during the term, and class participation.

LIBRARY STATEMENT: Reference/Information assistance is available at the Reference Desk, by phone (925) 631-4624, text message at (925) 235-4762 or Chat( IM). Check the Library's "Ask Us" link for details: