By Sanji Bhal, Director of Marketing & Communications, ACD/Labs
I think we can all agree that the years we spent studying at University were well spent. We tried new activities and perhaps even discovered things we’re good at—I realized that there’s more to it than meets the eye when it comes to hot air ballooning, and that computational chemists spent FAR too long creating ‘water boxes’…organic chemistry was my thing! Hopefully, we were also able to develop important skills that led us down a successful career path and landed us in a job in a field that we’re passionate about.
Studying chemistry can open up many career paths since it can be applied in a variety of fields. The elements of chemistry are everywhere in the world around us; they’re part of the food we eat, clothes we wear, ways we get around, medicines we take—you name it. In fact, Chemistry is sometimes called the ‘central science’ because it connects other sciences like biology, physics and environmental science to each other. An understanding of chemistry helps provide answers to almost every question about the world and helps makes us more informed consumers.
Understanding the fundamentals behind the craft, therefore, is essential. Playing with the latest analytical instruments to get an understanding of how they work and related concepts is ideal; many schools, however, are not blessed to be equipped with these expensive tools. Funding and availability for this type of technology is either limited or non-existent.
To support students pursuing a career in chemistry and ensure they have access to all the right tools to learn the trade, ACD/Labs recently collaborated with Pearson, the world’s learning company, to help undergraduate students learn about the relationship between spectroscopic data and chemical structures. Partnering with Pearson will provide all of the students enrolled in their “My Chemistry” course access to NMR Prediction technology and ensure they develop a strong foundation in the field of spectroscopy.
The 30 week-long online course, used by over 15,000 first-year undergraduate students, guides future chemists through lecture materials by assessing the understanding of concepts through online homework and informative tutorials. A majority of the course is specifically dedicated to spectroscopy and uses ACD/NMR Predictors and ACD/ChemSketch to direct students through analyses of the spectra generated for a specific compound.
When students use the prediction software, they are able to predict complete NMR spectra directly from a chemical structure. They can simply input a structure through the ChemSketch interface, and receive full NMR spectra, chemical shifts, and coupling constants in seconds. Predicted spectra can also be directly compared with experimental data for more efficient structure verification. The software allows students to calculate and display accurate chemical shifts, recognize tautomeric forms before prediction, process experimental spectra, and train the predictors with experimental data to improve prediction accuracy in novel and propriety chemical spaces.
We are very proud to support education for students looking to expand their background in science and chemistry. Our hope is that by providing our NMR predictors and spectroscopy tools, we will inspire students and fuel their passion to be the chemists of tomorrow.