May 22, 2013 –
A team of bioengineering and biology undergraduates took second place in this year’s Big Ideas @ Berkeley contest with their innovative teaching tool for organic chemistry.
Norman Bae (BioE), Prithvi Bomdica (BioE), Nithya Lingampalli (MCB), Rahul Nayak (BioE), Vinay Viswanadham (BioE), and Hubert Wang (MCB) developed a plan for “Push Me, Pull You: O-Chem, the Fun Way!”, a computer program that can be used to practice electron-pushing mechanisms in organic chemistry.
The team won second place in the Improving Student Life category of this annual innovation competition, receiving monetary funding to help them move on to coding the software this summer.
From their project description:
Students struggle significantly in electron-arrow pushing mechanisms, a critical part of an organic chemistry course’s grade. By implementing this project, Push Me, Pull You hopes to increase students’ understanding of this phenomenon in organic chemistry, and therefore further students’ overall understanding of the subject. The application for this computer program will include a tutoring and a solving level. With this new program, Push Me, Pull You, will help students to better understand organic chemistry, and take away the unnecessary fear that strikes new organic chemistry students.