Is the course free?
- Yes. The entire course is available to everyone free of charge. No stunts, no catches, no tricks, no gimmicks.
Do you collect personal information?
You do not seem to expect anything in return. Do you have too much time on your hands? Are you independently wealthy or an incurable romantic?
- I do not have too much time on my hands. I am not an incurable romantic, either. I do expect something in return for my free course. Over the past 30 years, I have witnessed an appalling decline in basic chemical education. I have met graduate students, PhD chemists, and even chemistry teachers and professors with shocking "blank spots" in their knowledge of the fundamentals of chemistry. I imagine what those teachers and professors teach their students, some of whom will eventually teach chemistry, too. This course is my attempt to contribute to the return to sanity that the world is crying out for. I am not independently wealthy. If you find the course helpful and would like to support me and the project, your donation will be greatly appreciated.
Do you think the world needs more chemists?
- In my personal view, the world needs more good chemists and fewer bad chemists, especially mediocre PhD chemists. More importantly, the world needs more educated people familiar with the basics of chemistry.
Do other members of Chemistry from Scratch share your views on chemical education and the free availability of the course?
- Chemistry from Scratch is a one-man project. I myself set up the entire course and built the website, which altogether took me over two years of work. I thank some of my family members and friends for reading the drafts and for their comments. I know many truly excellent, internationally recognized scientists who share my views on science education in general and chemistry education in particular.
How much math do I need to know for the course?
- You need to know how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide numbers. You also need to know and understand fractions and percentages. No exponentiation, no logarithmic functions, no trigonometric functions, no differentiation, no integration.
Why is the presentation of the course material so over simplistic?
- On purpose. We all have to learn how to walk before we can run. This course is for those wishing to learn chemistry from scratch. I do not target the need for an advanced chemistry course; in fact, what I aim at is quite the opposite. My goal is to help the reader learn the very basics of chemistry. In order to do that as clearly as possible, I need to simplify and even oversimplify many concepts and chemical models. After you have familiarized yourself with the basics, you will be able to deepen and broaden your knowledge of chemistry by taking more advanced courses. There are many of those out there on the Internet. Some of them are good.
How does your course compare with other online introductory chemistry courses?
- I do not say that you have come to the right place for learning the basics of chemistry. There are other online chemistry courses. Only you can decide if Chemistry from Scratch is the right text for you.
Why are there no visual animations and video lessons in the course, such as on balancing chemical equations?
- Although there are links to many videos throughout the text, I do not use visual animations to teach how to balance chemical equations. Instead, I show the reader how chemical equations are balanced step by step and give detailed explanations for every step. While more demanding on the student than a video lesson or animation, this teaching technique provides a better brain exercise to strengthen your mind, boost your learning skills, and ultimately help you retain your knowledge. No pain, no gain.
What should I do if I cannot solve a problem to which no answer is provided in the course?
- The correct answers are provided to most, but not all, of the questions in the Exercises subsections. The questions that are left unanswered are the simpler ones. Just go over the material again, read carefully, understand, and you will do well next time.
What if I find a mistake in the course?
- I would appreciate it if you let me know right away, so that the mistake – if there is a mistake – can be corrected as soon as possible. Besides, I am not a native English speaker. If you are (or speak English like your mother tongue) and wish to suggest editorial language changes, I will be most thankful for that. Please kindly send me your suggestions. My goal is to make this course as good as possible in every respect.
How promptly do you respond to emails?
- Depends on how many emails I have to reply to and how busy I am. Usually I try my best to reply to emails promptly. I may not respond to emails that are irrelevant to the course, chemistry, and science in general.
Do you offer private tutoring services?
- This is being considered. Should I start offering personal tutorials, it will be posted on the website.
Are you on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc.?
- No. I do not use social media. Sorry.