VRML in the undergraduate curriculum

COMP 100

Clifton P. Calloway, Department of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Winthrop University, Oakland Avenue, Rock Hill, SC 29733
Virtual Reality Markup Language (VRML) is an efficient and powerful tool for the transfer of information over the internet. VRML parallels the commonly used web language HTML in that, links to other VRML or HTML pages can be created, and a browser is required. Unlike HTML, which can be explored in two dimensions, VRML can be explored in three dimensions. With the widespread availability and use of the internet, VRML can be an effective tool for displaying 3 dimensional models and chemical information to undergraduate chemistry courses. Many chemical concepts, properties, and reactions are related to the geometry of a molecule. In these cases, a two dimensional presentation is only marginally adequate for understanding the properties or reactions of molecules. VRML can provide an interactive 3D world. Just over 1/3 of general and organic undergraduate students rank modeling exercises as one of the two most critical and helpful projects, while less than 8% ranked modeling as least critical and helpful.