Flick Coleman

Professor Emeritus of Chemistry


Physical/Inorganic chemist, doing quantum chemistry and applications of computers in chemical education.

I use the methods of quantum chemistry to study small to mid-sized molecules (< 500 atoms). I am interested in structure, dynamics, and spectroscopic properties of metal complexes, the molecules of nanotechnology, and molecules of environmental interest. Current projects include the explanation of structural anomalies in cyanamide and substituted cyanamides, electronic properties of graphene sheets held together by metal atoms or ions, structural and spectroscopic properties of molecules of astrophysical interest, and the properties of diradical PAHs.

I teach inorganic and physical chemistry, as well as courses in our environmental studies program. I have developed and taught courses in Green Chemistry, Theoretical Chemistry, the History of Chemistry, Bioinorganic Chemistry, computer modeling of environmental problems, and many others. I have taught in the Writing Program and most of the interdisciplinary programs the College has offered in the past 30 years. I spend a lot of time (too much?) developing interactive Web-based applications for chemistry and websites that help students visualize chemical structures and phenomena.

I edit two monthly columns in the Journal of Chemical Education: one, which I both write and edit, devoted to presenting high-quality molecular structures of molecules of current interest, and the other to presenting peer-reviewed Web-based applications for use in chemical education. I am an active member of a number of Web-based discussion groups concerning chemical education and my Web-based materials are used around the world.

I have recently entered the half-time retirement phase of my life, and am enjoying a little additional free time to pursue some of my varied interest. I perform jazz (saxophone, flute, and other reeds), guitar (folk), and various ancient instruments. I have recently become serious about photography and digital painting. My wife and I love to travel, play games, eat well, go to the BSO, cheer on the Red Sox (and boo the Yankees), and spoil our cats.

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