Adding the third dimension to the chemistry lecture hall

COMP 114

Joseph J. Grabowski, Department of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of Pittsburgh, 219 Parkman Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Computers and data projectors have dramatically impacted teaching practices across the disciplines and at all levels. This technology is often used to display images and animations that would otherwise be described only in words, or be schematized by hand drawn, icon-heavy, representations. The next use of this technology will be to transform flat two-dimensional representations of inherently three-dimensional entities, into three-dimensional, interactive projections. This presentation will document how our Chemistry faculty have built and are using such a system in a large lecture hall, and will describe a portable system that can readily be used by faculty across the campus. All aspects of the project will be available for discussion, from the technology needed, to experiences using the system in large to small classrooms, to the assessments so far available, to the challenges of changing software, to frustrating experiences with hardware, and even to speculation about the technology of tomorrow.