Chem 101 General Chemistry Information and Syllabus, Fall 2016

  • Kim-Lien Thi Dinh, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Los Angeles City College
  • Email:, Phone: 323.953.4000 x 1602 (leave a voicemail)
  • Fall 2016 Office Hours: MW 4:30 – 5:10 pm (IN SCI-324H), TTh 6:40 – 9:00 pm (IN SCI-305), or by appt.

Section 5038

  • Lecture:  MW 5:15 – 6:40 pm (SCI 314)   
  • Conference:  MW 6:50 – 7:50 pm (SCI 314)              
  • Lab:  MW 7:55 – 10:00 pm (SCI 306)


  • Chem 60 and Math 125 or equivalent with a minimum grade of “C” or appropriate score on placement exam.

Required Materials

  • Your LACC custom edition textbook bundle (text with license + e-text) can be purchased at LACC’s bookstore.  Alternatively, you can purchase Chemistry: A Molecular Approach by Nivaldo Tro, 4th Edition (Need license for Mastering Chemistry). 
  • Safety goggles, even if you wear glasses! Like these or these.
  • Scientific calculator, need logarithm functions and scientific notation keys. No graphing calculator, no sharing.  Something like this or similar will work.
  • Lab experiments, check the schedule below and print the ones for our course. 
  • Lab notebook, the kind with carbonless duplicate pages, 50 or 100 pages.
  • Scantrons, form 882-E
  • Safety quiz, completed and turned in to lab instructor by the second class meeting.


A total of 1000 points are possible as indicated below:

  • Final (comprehensive), 200 points
  • Exams (3, 150 points each), 450 points
  • Lab Exam, 50 points
  • Lab Experiments (normalized total), 200 points
  • Homework (normalized total), 100 points

Course grades* will be assigned according to the following breakdown:

A 88.0-100%        B 76.0-87.9%       C 60.0-75.9%       D 50.0-59.9%       F less than 50%

*LACC does not have a +/– grading system.  Only A, B, C, D, F, I**, W, P/NP will be used.  I do not curve grade.

**Incomplete academic work for unforeseeable emergency and justifiable reasons at the end of the term may result in an “I” symbol being entered in a student’s record.  The “I” must be made up no later than one year following the end of the term in which it was assigned.  The policies can be found here.  Further more, the following will be applied.  You must currently be passing the course for an incomplete.  You must satisfactorily complete 15 out of the 16 lab assignments.  A score of “0” will be recorded for the remaining experiment and can not be made up.  Any Mastering Chemistry assignments you do not complete will have a score of “0” and the due date will not be extended.  You must have completed 2 out of the 3 exams, and you’ll be exempt from the 3rd.  The two exams will be normalized to a total of 450 points.  The final must be taken within a year and a letter grade will be recorded after its completion.

Course Description:  In this course, you will learn nomenclature, atomic structure, quantum theory, bonding theories and molecular geometry, chemical equations, stoichiometry, thermochemistry, solid, liquid and gaseous states and related forces, gas laws, solutions and colligative properties, periodic relationships, and acid base theories. Laboratory exercises are quantitative in nature and are related to the lecture topics. This is the first semester of a one-year course in chemistry intended for majors in the natural sciences (chemistry, biochemistry, biology, physics, pre-medicine), mathematics, and engineering.

Student Learning Outcome: By the end of this course, you will be able to interpret, analyze and solve qualitative and quantitative problems appropriate to the course content.

Information for Students with Disabilities: Students with a verified disability who may need authorized accommodation(s) for this class are encouraged to notify the instructor and the Office of Special Services (323-953-4000, ext. 2270) as soon as possible.  All information will remain confidential.

Financial Aid:  If you need help paying for books and other college expenses, call the Financial Aid Office at (323) 953-4000 ext.2010.

Academic Integrity: All students at LACC are expected to follow the rules of ethical conduct stated in the Student Policies section of the Schedule of Classes.  The complete schedule of classes in PDF format is found here.

Cheating will not be tolerated!  Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to, the following actions: cheating on an exam, plagiarism (the act of copying another’s written work and submitting it as your own), faking or falsifying experimental data, copying another’s lab report, data, and published work, working together on an assignment, paper or project when the instructor has specifically stated students should not do so, submitting the same term paper to more than one instructor, or allowing another individual to assume one’s identity for the purpose of enhancing one’s grade (see LACCD Board Rule 9803.28). Such actions (which are often illegal in the “real world”) may result in a grade of zero or “F” on an exam or paper, and suspension or dismissal from the course and the college. These consequences will also apply to those that help others cheat.  

Drop Date Information!  For classes from 8/29/16 to 12/18/16, the deadline to drop without a “W” on your transcript is September 11, 2016. Effective July 1, 2012 students are allowed three (3) attempts to pass a single class within the Los Angeles Community College District. If a student gets a “W” or grade of “D”, “F”, or “NP” in a class, that counts as an attempt. If you think you will not be able to complete this course with a C or better, drop by November 20, 2016. If the class begins or ends on a different date, please refer to Admissions Important Dates page.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to talk to me.  You may also see a counselor in the Counseling Center in AD 108. 

You will be excluded (dropped) from the course for any one of the following:  If you missed the first meeting of class, if you are absent more hours than the number of hours the class meets per week, or if you do not enroll in Mastering Chemistry.  However, you should not assume that the instructor will drop you.  It is your responsibility to formally withdraw from the class through Admissions and Records should you decide you no longer wish to be enrolled, otherwise you will receive an “F” in the course. If you are absent, it is your responsibility to make sure work is handed in on time and to find out what you missed in class.

Computer Resources: The Chemistry and Earth Sciences Department has a computer classroom located in SCI 316.  The classroom is normally open 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM Monday-Thursday.  If the room is locked, you can ask one of the faculty or lab technicians to open it for you.  This classroom can be reserved for class meetings by department faculty.  If the classroom is unavailable, the all-campus computer lab for student use is located on the second floor of the Martin Luther King Library and is available during the library’s normal business hours.  Please contact ext. 2396 for more information about the all-campus lab.  For information about computer access, including information regarding computer login, email accounts and wireless access, please go to the following site.

Policy on Cell Phones and other Electronic Devices:  The use of cell phones or any other electronic devices for any purpose, including smart phone calculator apps, on exams/quizzes is prohibited.  All phones are to be turned off during exams and stored.  Students caught using phones during exam may be subject to receiving a score of “0” on the exam/quiz and referral for further disciplinary action.

Description of Coursework

Final and ExamsThree exams and one cumulative final*** will be given and no scores will be dropped. The exam dates are listed in the attached schedule. The exam starts at the beginning of lecture and if you are late to an exam, you will have the remainder of that time to complete your exam. If you need to make-up an exam due to an emergency, a penalty of 20% (per day-weekend counts) will be assessed for the first exam taken late, and a larger penalty (40% per day) for any additional exams taken late. Once an exam has been returned and reviewed (2-7 days), there will be no more make-up exams. It is your responsibility to re-schedule your exam, not your instructor’s. Send an email and I will re-schedule the date, time, and location of your make-up exam. If you do not show up, a score of “0” will be recorded and no further make-up will be scheduled. Everyone, regardless of grade at the time, is required to take the final examination. Failure to take the final will result in an automatic fail for this course, regardless of your grade prior to the final.

***The final will not be returned to you.  It is LACC’s property.  Your scores will be posted in Mastering Chemistry.

Lab Exam: One laboratory exam is given and the score will not be dropped. The exam date is listed in the attached schedule. The exam starts at the beginning of lab and if you are late to the exam, you will have the remainder of that time to complete your exam. No makeup will be given. You  will be asked to design and execute an experiment using available materials and equipment based on what you have done during this semester. You are allowed to use your lab notebook and a scientific calculator during the exam. You will be evaluated according to: set-up, safety protocols, techniques, measurements, analyzing and processing data, precision and accuracy. 

Laboratory work: The laboratory component is designed to give you hands-on experience with some of the concepts learned in lecture.  Completion of the laboratory work is mandatory!  Thus, you must satisfactorily complete 15 out of the 16 lab assignments in order to achieve a grade of a “C” or higher in the course.  Completing a lab consists of performing the experiment AND handing in the lab report. There will be no makeup labs, plan to attend every class session. All lab work must be done individuallyThe due date is listed in the attached schedule. There is a 2-point penalty for each day that your report is late (weekend counts). After a report has been graded and returned, you will only receive one point for that assignment, but it counts as being completed.  Multi-page report must be stapled and 2 points will be deducted if it is not. No points will be credited to one student for lab work completed by another student; that is cheating. Safety goggles are to be worn by all students in the laboratory at all times. Students who repeatedly are found not wearing goggles (to protect their eyes) will be subject to removal from the laboratory for that entire period.  You are responsible for all of the equipment in your locker.  You will be charged for any equipment you break or lose.  It is best not to share equipment, and if you absolutely must share, be sure to return any shared equipment to your locker before you leave for the day.  Make sure you have put away all equipment and locked your drawer before leaving.  All students are required to keep a lab notebook.  The notebook must have carbonless duplicates.  You are required to prepare your notebook for data collection prior to coming to class.  I will stamp/sign your lab notebook at the start of lab.  You will record all data directly in your notebook and you will turn in the carbon copies of your data sheets with your lab reports.  This is part of your lab grade.  Notebook policies are described in more detail here.  

You are responsible for printing out your experiments prior to class.  I will not print them for you.

Mastering Chemistry (MC): Homework is graded through the Mastering Chemistry web-based program. The MC assignments include interactive tutorial assignments and electronic versions of selected end of chapter problems from your text.  Expect to spend an average of 6 hrs (more like “all day,” according to most of my students) for each homework assignment.  There is a penalty of 20% per day for problems that you did not complete on time.  There is a correlation between doing problems, understanding the course material, and doing well on exams.  The more problems you make an honest effort at completing, better are your chances of doing well on the exams.  The point of doing MC is to improve your understanding of the material, not to practice for exams.  Exam problems do not necessarily look exactly like homework problems.  However, if you truly understand the material, then you should be able to reason through exam problems that look different from homework problems.  

Enrollment in MC is MANDATORY!  I do not use eTudes, Canvas, Blackboard, or Moodle.  This program serves as my course management system.  If you do not enroll in MC, you will have recorded scores of “0” for all assignments.  After you have enrolled, in order to change those scores, you must provide me with the graded papers to change your scores. Graded and returned work are your responsibility, I’m not responsible for papers you can’t find or have lost.

To enroll in Mastering Chemistry, go to  Register as a student.  The course ID is DINH101F16 . 

If you purchased the LACC version of the textbook, you also have the access code for Mastering Chemistry.  Copy and paste the course ID and type in the access code.  If you did not purchase the LACC version, you will need to purchase an access code.  Select the correct text for your course and select the choice without the e-text.  As of 8/1/2016 the cost is $65.95 without the e-text.

Study Guides for Exams and Extra Credit:  There are none, please don’t ask.  There are old exams & quizzes are under the “Exams” tab (still under construction).

Miscellaneous: Please don’t ask for an extension on MC assignments. Natural disasters are not excuses for not completing your HW and quizzes. The last day to turn in late work (for one point) is before the start of your final.  

LACC’s policy requires an addendum attached to the syllabus, and can be accessed here: CHEM 101 Syllabus Addendum, Fall 2016.

Chemistry 101 Tentative Lecture and Lab Schedule****

****Your instructor reserves the right to alter this schedule, including exam and quiz date.  Any changes to this schedule after the first day of class will be BOLDED, ALL CAPS, UNDERLINED, AND IN RED.

Wk Date Lecture Laboratory Notes
1 M 8/29 Ch 1 Matter, scientific method, problem solving, measurement, uncertainty, significant figures Lecture/Problem Solving
W 8/31 Ch 1 (finish) Lecture/Problem Solving
2 M 9/5 Holiday
W 9/7 Ch 2 Elements, compounds, mixtures; atomic theory; atomic structure; periodic table; the mole and molar mass. Lecture/Problem Solving Last day to drop without a “W” is September 11, 2016.
3 M 9/12 Ch 3 Compounds and molecules; empirical and molecular formulas; ionic compounds; nomenclature; chemical eqns. Safety video/Check-in
W 9/14 Ch 3 (finish) Expt. 4 – Sequence of Reactions

(20 points)

4 M 9/19 Ch 4 Rxn stoichiometry; limiting rxnts; sln stoichiometry; types of rxns; ionic solubility; precipitation and acid base rxns; ionic equations; Redox rxns. Expt. 4 (cont.)
W 9/21 Ch 4 (continue) Expt. 2 –  Measurements, parts I and II.  (20 pts.)

Expt. 4 (finish:  dry and weigh Cu)

5 M 9/26 Exam 1 Ch 1, 2, 3 Expt. 2 – Measurements, part III
W 9/28 Ch 4 (continue) Expt. 3 – Identification of a Metal Carbonate (10 pts.)
6 M 10/3 Ch 4 (finish) Expt. 17– Avogadro’s Number (10 points)  Expt. 4 due
W 10/5 Ch 5 Gas pressure, simple gas laws, ideal gas law, applications, gas stoichiometry, kinetic molecular theory, real gases. Expt. 12A – Standardization of NaOH (20 pts.)
7 M 10/10 Ch 5 (finish) Expt. 12 (finish)

Start 12B-Analysis of Vinegar

W 10/12 Ch 6 Thermochemistry:  forms of energy; enthalpy; calorimetry; thermochemical equations; Hess’ Law; standard heats of reaction. Expt. 12B– Analysis of Vinegar

(20 pts.)

8 M 10/17 Ch 6 (finish) Expt. 1 – Graphing

(10 pts.)

 Expt. 2 due
W 10/19 Ch 7 Quantum theory:  Nature of light; atomic spectra; wave-particle duality; quantum atom and atomic orbitals. Expt. 5 –  Diffusion of Gases

(10 pts.)

9 M 10/24 Ch 7 (finish) Expt. 6 – Analysis of Al/Zn Alloy

(20 pts.)

 Expt. 3, 31, 12A, 12B due
W 10/26 Ch. 8 – Electron configurations; periodicity; Aufbau principle; Periodic trends; atomic structure, reactivity Expt. 6 (finish)
10 M 10/31 Exam 2 Ch 4, 5, 6 Expt. 7 – Hess’ Law

(20 pts.)

W 11/2 Ch 8 (finish) Expt. 7 (finish)

Expt. 10 – Periodic Properties

(20 points)

11 M 11/7 Ch. 9 – Chemical bonding:  ionic and covalent bonding; Bond energies and enthalpies; Bond polarity. Octet rule; expanded octets; formal charge; writing Lewis structures. Expt. 8 – Atomic Emission Spectra (10 points)

Expt. 10 (finish) 

W 11/9 Ch 9 (finish) Expt. 10 – Periodic Properties

(20 points)

Expt. 7 – Hess’ Law

(20 pts.)

12 M 11/14 Ch. 10 –VSEPR theory; molecular polarity; valence bond theory and hybridization; molecular orbital theory. Expt. 10 (finish) 

Expt. 7 (finish)

 Expt. 1, 5, 6, 10 due
W 11/16 Ch 10 (finish) Expt. 11 – Molecular Geometry

(20 pts.)

The last day to drop with a “W” is November 20, 2016.
13 M 11/21 Ch 11 Intermolecular forces, liquids and solids, Phase changes; phase diagrams; types of intermolecular forces; liquid state. Expt. 16 – Analysis by Spectroscopic Methods

(20 points)

W 11/23 Ch 11 (continue) Expt. 16 (finish)
14 M 11/28 Exam 3 Ch 7, 8, 9, 10 Expt. 9V – Conductiometric Titration & Gravimetric Analysis

(20 points)

W 11/30 Ch 11 (finish) Expt. 9V (finish)
15 M 12/5 Ch 13 Slns, solvation and energy, saturated slns, solubility equilibria, units of concentration, colligative prop. Lab Exam Expt. 7, 11, 16 due

Bring your lab notebook!

W 127 Ch 13 (finish) Check out Expt. 9 due
16 12/14 Cumulative Final Exam – Wednesday December 14th, 5:00 – 7:00 pm SCI 314