Fall 2014

Advanced Organic Chemistry

Listed in: Chemistry, as CHEM-418

Moodle site: Course


Jonathan A. Collins (Section 01)


This course will focus on topics in modern organic chemistry with an emphasis on structure, reactivity, and synthesis. We will expand on many of the concepts from introductory organic chemistry to develop a fundamental base of knowledge about organic reactions in the context of modern organic synthesis. Broadly, synthesis is the application of one or more reactions to the preparation of a target compound. The selection of reactions for a synthesis requires an understanding of structure, reactivity, and mechanism. We will center our attention on reactions that have found utility in organic synthesis and consider their mechanism, regio- and stereochemical characteristics, and reaction conditions. These reactions will be discussed in the context of complex molecule synthesis and issues of functional group compatibility, steric sensitivity, and stereoselectivity will be considered. Furthermore, the challenges of designing a multistep synthesis will be discussed and illustrated with classic examples from the scientific literature. Readings will be drawn from the primary scientific literature. Students will be expected to participate actively in class discussions and to present their work to the class.

Requisite:  CHEM 231. Limited to 20 students. Fall semester.  Visiting Professor Collins.

If Overenrolled: preference given to Amherst College chemistry majors, others by class year


2016-17: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014