I am CoPI of the Cheminformatics OLCC project, and an Associate Professor at Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing, where I run the Cheminformatics and Chemogenomics Research Group (CCRG). Since 2004, I have been running a graduate cheminformatics program there, offering Ph.D., M.S. degrees and certificates in Cheminformatics, with an emphasis on distance education. I have previously run graduate classes in cheminformatics using a variety of remote technologies, including videoconferencing, web conferencing, wikis and the CIC Courseshare program. Most recently, I created the Indiana Cheminformatics Education Portal of free cheminformatics learning materials, along with an associated low cost Introducing Cheminformatics eBook. I also run a Cheminformatics Education Google+ Group for discussion of cheminformatics education resources and opportunities.
I have been involved in chemical databases and chemical information since the early 1970's. From the NIH/EPA/NIST mass spectral database to the NIH/EPA Chemical Information System (CIS) to the Open Source IUPAC International Chemical Identifier (InChI) I have seen the explosion of electronic information. This vast explosion of electronic information, coupled with the Internet has created the opportunity to connect these many, many silos and islands of data and information. Since what we are looking to access, analyze and understand is associated with a chemical, the ability of the InChI chemical identifier linking these sources is critical to progress. I am currently the Project Director of the InChI Trust, a non-profit UK charity that is responsible for the support and expansion of the Open Source InChI algorithm. Leaning the skills to find information and data is critical to all those students in chemistry. That is why I am so enthusiastic about being involved in this online intercollegiate course in Cheminformatics/Chemical Information Sciences.
I am an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at The University of Minnesota Rochester's “Center for Learning Innovation”. I am interested in figuring out in what ways technology can help learning and it what ways it hinders it. I have authored several web platforms that make use of graphical interfaces to learn chemistry. Models 360 is a collection of several hundreds of molecules, where properties such as structural symmetry, vibrations and electrostatic maps can be displayed with the Jmol applet. More recently, I developed ChemEd X Data as a graphical tool to help students navigate through large amounts of chemical and physical data and build their own knowledge by figuring out on their own trends and exceptions. I am also interested in assessing how much learning or how different the learning is when we move from a face-to-face classroom environment to an interconnected computer environment. This is why I am thrilled to be part of the OLCC project and learning in what ways the new communication technologies can overcome the current barriers of our educational system.
Evan Hepler-Smith is a historian of science and technology. Currently, Evan is Ziff Environmental Fellow at the Harvard University Center for the Environment; he holds a Ph.D. in History of Science from Princeton University. Evan studies the history of chemical information from the 19th century through the present day. His research shows, first, that debates over chemical nomenclature, notation, and information management have been central to the intellectual and institutional development of global chemistry. Second, he shows that century-old approaches to chemical information have shaped how digital chemical information is handled today. He is excited to bring this historical perspective to the OLCC collaboration.