Chemistry 100
(IAI P1903L)

Fast Links: lecture notes assignments misc. information


Dr. Patrick Mills



E 1023, Main Campus


Office Phone:

(815) 280 6702


Cell phone: (Emergencies only):

(815) 302 2832



Web:  (there is also a course Canvas site)

Office Hours:

Fall:  9:40 am - 11:40 am. TR, 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Spring: MW, 10:15 am - 12:00 pm. TR, 11:15 - 12:15 pm.
Please also feel free to stop by E1023 outside of my regular teaching hours


Zumdahl, Introductory Chemistry: A Foundation, any edition, D.C. Heath Publishing & JJC Chemistry 100 Lab manual. Downloadable lecture notes (required)*

Other required materials:

‘Wrap around’ safety goggles, TI 30X SII scientific calculator*, Lab notebook

Prerequisite English: Satisfactory placement test score or "C" or better in ENG 021 & 099, or ENG095/096 and
Prerequisite Math: Satisfactory placement test score or "C" or better in MATH 094

See Dr. Mills immediately if you do not meet any of these requirements.

Been a while since you took math? Don't like math? Need extra help?
Quick Test: If 5x-3 =12, what is x?

See Dr. Mills at the end of class if you think you may need some extra help with math.

Instructor Initiated Drop(s): Any student(s) who, without the prior consent of the instructor, misses the first class meeting will be dropped from the course in order to make way for student(s) on the class waiting list. It is the student's responsibility to drop themselves from the course, after the second week, should they anticipate a failing course grade as a result of poor academic performance.

Adds: Students will not be permitted to add to the course after the first week of classes have been completed.
Course background and content

Chemistry 100 is an introduction to basic chemical principles that we, in turn, take for granted within the context of our everyday lives. During the course, students will develop a greater understanding of fundamental chemical principles that underpin the structure and reactivity of matter (material), with which we interact on a daily basis. For example, have you ever wondered why ‘dry ice’ is so named, why salt is spread on our roads in winter, or even how sugar dissolves in coffee? These and other ‘everyday’ phenomena will be discussed and explored during the course. Perhaps most importantly, students will learn, develop and utilize problem solving skills pertinent not only to the allied health and engineering fields, but to life in general. To this end, relevant material from the following chapters of Introductory Chemistry: A Foundation will be discussed during lectures:

Chapter 1:   Introduction

Chapter 2:   Measurements and Calculations

Chapter 3:   Matter and Energy

Chapter 4:   Chemical Foundations: Elements, Atoms and Ions

Chapter 5:   Nomenclature

Chapter 6:   Chemical Reactions: An Introduction

Chapter 7:   Reactions in Aqueous Solutions

Chapter 8:  Chemical Composition

Chapter 9:  Chemical Quantities

Chapter 10: Modern Atomic Theory

Chapter 11: Chemical Bonding

Chapter 12: Gasses

Chapter 13: Liquids and Solids

Chapter 14: Solutions

Chapter 15: Acids and Bases

Chapter 16: Equilibrium

Chapter 17: Oxidation-Reduction and Electrochemistry

Background and/or supplementary reading, as well as independent study (homework), assignments will be set at the start of each week or on a per lecture basis. Independent study assignments will not be collected for grading. However, assigned problems will usually be those for which solutions are provided (answer section Introductory Chemistry: A Foundation). Copies of the solution manual are also available in the library reserve room, or a copy may be viewed in my office (E1029). See the final section of this document for some additional important details regarding HWK assignments.

Laboratory Assignments:

The laboratory sequence has also been designed so that students encounter a variety of chemically significant processes and so, in turn, develop an understanding of the fundamental chemical principles that describe them. Thus, the lab assignments of chemistry 100 often provide illustrative examples of the principles covered in class. The CHM 100 lab schedule will be distributed at the class’ first lab meeting. All experimental procedures, and well as their respective pre and post-lab assignments, may be found within the Chemistry 100 lab manual or downloadable assignments.

Lab sessions will take place during the last class period of the week, unless otherwise specified.

Labs are time consuming, so each experiment must be read and (if applicable) it’s respective pre-lab assignment completed before coming to lab. *EACH STUDENT MUST HAND IN A COMPLETED LAB REPORT EACH WEEK WITH THEIR'S AND THEIR PARTNER(S) NAMES ATTACHED unless otherwise specified by the instructor*

Experimental write-ups must typically be handed to the instructor at the end of each week’s lab session. Late work will be penalized by the instructor at rate of 10 % per day. A written description of what is required to successfully complete each lab write up will be distributed during the first lab session.  Each laboratory assignment is graded out of a minimum of 100 points (except check-in and check-out, which are worth 50 points each), with each student’s cumulative lab total being subsequently normalized to a possible final maximum score of 150 points. A minimum final lab score of 75/150 is required to pass the course. These values will be used, in conjunction with quiz and exam scores, to calculate final course grades (see below). Students will complete laboratory assignments in groups possessing either two or (occasionally) four members.


Students must wear approved safety goggles, be appropriately dressed, and adhere with all safety regulations at all times when in the laboratory. Safety rules and regulations will be reviewed during the first lab session.

Any student who is pregnant or may become pregnant during the course of the semester is strongly advised to consult their doctor before enrolling in this course.

Students must make up any and each missed lab assignment within one week of their absence(s) from the laboratory. Lab make ups may NOT be completed during the last week of classes or Finals week. Students that do not make up missed laboratory assignment(s) will receive a score of zero for that assignment(s). Any student who misses more than 3 laboratory periods (and does not make them up) will have a full letter grade deducted from their final course grade. If you miss a lab be sure to see Dr. Mills as soon as possible for details on times and dates for making up the missed work. On time lab check-in (first week) and check-outs (last week) count towards lab attendance and points totals.


Exams and grading

The final course grade is based on a preliminary quiz (15 points), 3 midterm quizzes (25 points each), 2 midterm exams (150 points each) and a comprehensive standardized final exam (200 points). A maximum of 150 points will also be awarded for laboratory work. A maximum score, before extra credit, of 740 points may be earned during the course. The final course grades will be based on a normal or "curved" statistical distribution of the cumulative scores for all graded work (i.e. out of 740), with the mean grade being C+. A tentative distribution scale is: Top 22 % of scores (A range), next 28 % (B range), next 35 % (C range), next 10 % (D range) and the remaining 5 % (F). The C/D cut-off is set at 55% (407 points) of the total grade. Students attaining scores in the D/F range are typically encouraged (but not forced) to withdraw from the course prior to the drop date.

Extra Credit:

Extra credit will be awarded in any of four ways:

1.      For either answering questions and/or solving problems posed during lectures (1or more point(s) per question or problem).

2.      Students able to point out infrequent (!) errors made by the instructor during class will be awarded extra credit (1 point per correction, not including spelling errors).

3.      Attendance. Although credit for attendance does not form part of the formal grade scheme, the instructor will occasionally circulate an attendance sheet. One point of extra credit will be awarded to the student each time they sign one of these forms. Students arriving late for class will not be permitted to sign the attendance sheet. In addition, extra credit point(s) will also be deducted from a student's total for a variety of other behaviors (such as the use of cell phones and/or I-pods etc.) deemed inappropriate within formal academic environment - see below.

4.      Background reading. Occasional extra credit questions relating to the background reading or class discussions will appear on quizzes and exams.

Extra credit may be deducted for any of the following:

1.      For the use of cells phones or any other electronic devices (texting) during class time. Exception: See Dr. Mills at the start of class if you need to keep your cell phone turned on (vibrate only) for emergency communication - relative in the hospital etc.
Turn off and put away your cell phone away before coming to class. Cell phones may not be left in plain view. If your cell phone rings, or you are seen texting during class, it will cost you five points of extra credit!

2.      Students who arrive more than 5 minutes late to classL (without a reasonable excuse). The class starts promptly at the appointed time - I expect you to be there (-1 point).

3.   TalkingT with classmates or engaging in other distracting behavior (such as 'walking out'W, sleepingS, playing portable video games etc.)* while the class is in session (-1 point).

How it all works:

I generally favor what is often referred to as an ‘active’ teaching style. Thus, I generally prefer a more dynamic approach in which we as a class actively negotiate challenging theory and solve relevant problems through both formal lectures and group led workshops. This approach necessitates some degree of class participation. Therefore, it should be our intent to establish a work environment, within the lecture, lab, or office hour, in which you the student can feel at ease participating in class. I fully encourage the asking questions, however simple or complex. If at any time you have a question please ask! If you feel uncomfortable speaking in class, or find that you have a question that requires a more detailed answer, please feel free to come to an office hour or contact me via e-mail. I also operate what may be described as an “open door” policy, meaning that (depending on my schedule) I am willing to discuss work outside of my regular class office hour times.

I have supplied (at this web site) a set of interactive class notes for CHM 100. It is REQUIRED that you download / print these notes and bring them to class with you. DO NOT PRINT CLASS NOTES FROM THE MATH COMPUTER LABS - use the library, Cyber Café or any other on-campus location.

Clearly, it is imperative that the students and the instructor be able to communicate without interference or distraction within the academic environment. Thus, I really have only one rigorously applied rule with regard to classroom behavior - students who disrupt lectures by distracting the instructor and/or other students by persistently talking with their class mates or utilizing their cell phone or other electronic devices (text too) will, if necessary, be asked to vacate the classroom.

I am sometimes asked (within the context of assigned reading and independent study), "what incentive do I have for completing work that isn't graded?" My answer would be that this work is graded - just not directly. Assigned reading gives a more complete picture of the subject matter, which in turn allows for its better understanding the more "challenging" questions and extra credit problems that may appear on examinations. In addition to material taken from the lecture notes, questions based on homework and / or lab problems will appear on the exams. Thus, a familiarity with this material is clearly essential for the student to receive a high final (letter) grade. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT – YOU WILL SEE QUESTIONS SIMILAR TO THOSE ASSIGNED AS HOMEWORK ON YOUR EXAMS. FAILURE TO COMPLETE THE ASSIGNED PROBLEMS WILL GREATLY AFFECT YOUR FINAL GRADE!! Please don’t fall into the trap of either falling behind with or simply not completing homework assignments. This point also, in my view, epitomizes a common problem incoming college freshmen occasionally encounter – misunderstanding or not recognizing the philosophical differences between high school and advanced level instruction. Essentially all college level instructors make the simple assumption that the students in their classes want to, rather than have to, learn. After all, college is not mandatory and is often undertaken at great financial expense to the student. Thus, in addition to possessing the necessary academic abilities, students are also assumed to possess a level of maturity that allows them to work diligently, both inside and outside the classroom, towards their personal academic goals. As with most college level instruction, this general philosophy manifests itself within the structure of the courses undertaken by the student. In the case of CHM 100, the lectures are merely a vehicle through which material is initially conveyed to, and understood by, the student. The students' comprehension and ability to utilize this material is then tested through the completion of independent study assignments and, ultimately, through the taking of examinations. To use an analogy, the lecture component of most courses (including CHM 100) may be considered to be the "tip of the iceberg", while work performed outside of this arena may be assumed to constitute the bulk of the learning experience. In my experience, students who have done poorly in my courses have almost always underestimated the importance of completing assignments outside of the classroom. More often than not, capable students convince themselves, based on the fact that they understand the lecture material at the time it is presented, there is no need to complete the independent study assignments. This assumption is flawed, as, to use another analogy, the material presented in class provides the tools by which problems may be solved. Learning how to use these tools, via the completion if the relevant smaller tasks (independent study), is the best way to prepare for the undertaking of a major project (exams). Please do not allow yourselves to fall into this trap. See Dr. Mills for additional information on study habits.

Missed work:

Students are expected (and urged) to attend all class meeting and take all quizzes and exams at their assigned times and dates. However, if a student misses an exam or quiz, and has a plausible excuse or can provide prove of extenuating circumstances, they have two subsequent options with regard to making up the missed assignment:

1.      If the work missed has not been graded and returned to the class, the student may take the pertinent exam of quiz ‘late’. Students must contact Dr. Mills (via e-mail) within 3 hours of the missed assignment in order to arrange for this work to be made up in the Testing Center (A1138). Missed work must be made up BEFORE the next class meeting and will* be penalized by the instructor at rate of 10 %day-1

2.      If the student is forced to miss class for an extended period of time, perhaps due to a serious medical, family or other emergency, an averaged grade for the student’s similar, subsequent assignments (a ‘next average’) will be entered for the missing quiz or exam grade. Documented evidence describing the reason for the extended absence must be supplied in such cases.

Note: A maximum of one quiz and/or one mid-term examination may be made up through the methods described immediately above.

Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty (cheating) of any kind is not tolerated. Students found to be cheating will be either awarded a zero for the pertinent assignment (labs) or awarded an 'F' grade for the course (quizzes and exams).


Students are urged to arrive at the lecture room or laboratory a few minutes before class is scheduled to begin, as important review problems (typically ‘exam type’ questions) or pre-lab assignments are set, solved and/or discussed during this time. Students arriving late will not benefit from completing such tasks, so may be at some disadvantage with regard to completing the respective session’s coursework. Students arriving after ~10 minutes in to the session will not be permitted to partake in the respective laboratory session.

And finally….

Please remember that it is my goal to help you pass the course, not to fail it. The simplest advice I can give is this – to learn chemistry you must do chemistry. Thus, attending class regularly and keeping up with the homework assignments is the surest way to ensure a passing grade. Do NOT fall in to the trap of believing that chemistry can be learnt just from reading/memorizing the textbook. I cannot emphasize enough that chemistry is all about developing and practicing problem solving skills, so please adapt or modify your study regime accordingly. If you would like to learn more about study skills pertinent to the study of chemistry please stop by my office anytime or talk with me after class. Additionally, if at any time you find yourself falling behind with regard to any aspect of the course, please feel free to either make an appointment to see me or just stop by my office when I’m not teaching.

PM 1/7/20