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Student Selected for NSF Chemistry Workshop

Photo of Daniel LaMasterDaniel LaMaster ’13 of O’Fallon, Ill., was the only student selected to participate in a Computational Chemistry Workshop sponsored by the National Science Foundation at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., in July. He was one of 20 participants; the others were faculty members, including Feza Ozturk, McKendree chemistry professor.

Daniel accomplished numerous tasks and activities to broaden his knowledge of chemistry, particularly computational chemistry. As a result, he began his thesis project, which covers computing molecule properties, synthesizing all molecules and testing them in the laboratory. The molecules he is studying are pyridazine, tetrazine, and hydrazine.

A main focus of the workshop was to learn how to use various types of software to see how molecules function, why structures work the way they do, and how their structure is directly related to how they function.

Daniel said the experience also gave him new insight in various ways, for helping to teach and tutor chemistry students. The workshop gave him a glimpse of what he needs to do before continuing with his thesis project and figuring out what software is best for its completion. He would like to incorporate computational chemistry into his upcoming graduate studies, and is interested in the field, because there are many possibilities to help in various areas in the scientific field, and expand knowledge on the diverse types of chemistry.