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Comments on Geraldine Richmond: Going Nonlinear to Understand Environmentally Important Processes at Liquid Surfaces

Today's convo was pretty interesting. Ms. Richmond was an excellent presenter, because she had images that moved and because she spoke eloquently. I understood everything that she said, but I did not get the weird equation she had with sigmas and absolute values and letters. It was fascinating to see water in a new perspective. The way that the molecules that are not in the pond of other water molecules can combine with the air molecules outside. This way those water molecules at the top layer are low density and weak bonding. Otherwise the water molecules at the bottom have stronger bonding. It was nice seen how they thought of calculating the molecular spectroscopy. -- ME

Overall this was probably the most confusing convocation so far. At first she kept it simple and I was able to follow along. However, I would say about 20 minutes in she totally lost me. Not because she did anything wrong, just that I don't have much of a chemistry background so I didn't understand a lot of what she was talking about. However, she was one of the best speakers we've had so far, and she used really informative graphs and pictures. I also enjoyed how she credited the students who helped her with the research at the end of her slide show. -- Andrew F.

Geraldine Richmond's convocation was surreal. At one point I was riding my fire-breathing dragon and my dog turns to me and says...oh right what was when I was asleep during her speech in the middle of JRC 101. All jokes on napping audiences apart, Ms. Richmond's convocation was extremely engaging for all the Chemistry majors in the room. To everyone else, it was a whole lot of gibberish. Add in "1000 angstroms deep" and "surface spectroscopy" to the mix and that is all I can explain to you about the contents of the speech itself. From a non-chemist point of view, all I could gather was that Ms. Geraldine is a socially conscious woman (discussing acid rain and the environment), an extremely smart woman (at one point she was discussing Biology, Chemistry and Physics all at once) and a tech savvy woman (her powerpoint presentation had moving pictures!). Ultimately what saved the day was her acute sense of humor and her warmth and sweet nature. Even if we didn't understand anything she was saying, it was hard not to smile back when she looked towards your side of the room. Sam nodding off was, however, the highlight of the night. --Sid

I found today's convocation fairly hard to follow. Part of it was my own fault for having moments of not paying attention. The other part was the material. It has been quite some time since I have taken a chemistry course. I remembered some of the information, but most of it was either new to me or old information I had forgotten; it felt like it was all too much for me to handle at once. At times, the terminology. The speech and powerpoint were hard to follow at the same time for me. I was either reading or trying to make sense of the presented material while Ms. Richmond continued with her speech (turns out I couldn't multitask very well today). My concentration went to the animated pictures within the presentation too, so I would miss her explanations of other items on the slide. Honestly, after a certain point, I gave up on trying to make sense of it all. Overall, I guess I just felt out of place and lost.--AC

I followed convocation today up until maybe the third slide, while the presenter was still comparing the surface of water to Saran wrap. After that, I lost an idea of what she was talking about and my mind wandered. I vaguely followed what she was talking about and I realized that there was significance, but the significance seemed to only make sense to the advanced chemistry students in the audience. I tuned back in when she cracked a joke about volcanoes in Iowa, but other than that it was very difficult to follow what the presenter was talking about. She presented well and seemed very informed and was even humorous at times, but it was a presentation fit for chemists, not the average student. I still walked away with some new knowledge from the convocation and I did enjoy the amusing, animated pictures in the slideshow. --MC

I found the convo fascinating. Even the bits I didn't understand (i.e. about half of it) were clearly explained with useful visuals, so I had some idea what was going on. She was also a fantastic speaker, especially in how she used slides to provide more than just notes. (Peter)

I was interested in this week's convocation, although most of the presentation flew right over my head. I understood almost nothing, but Richmond's passion for the subject and her detailed explanations kept me listening. Sadly, due to my lack of common sense, I had gotten very little sleep beforehand and promptly took a nap in the middle of it all. Overall, had I paid more attention in Chemistry class in high school, I might have understood more. Also, I should probably get more sleep. -RC

Out of all the topics, this is probably the one I felt least interested in right from the start. Throughout the convocation, my feelings remained the same. However, I did feel that Ms. Richmond presented her topic extremely well. Even though I was not interested in her topic at all, I felt like she really did try to engage all of us, and not just those who understood what all of what she said meant. She was humorous and the diagrams she chose were extremely helpful. The animations also helped me comprehend at least a greater part of what she wanted to say. I also really appreciated that she included an acknowledgements slide for all her graduate students who assisted her in her research so that we have faces to put with the names. --CT

I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed listening to my first ever convocation. It was really handy that we had touched on some of things that Professor Richmond was talking about. I thought the small amounts of humor she used were really nice to keep me into her lecture (but apparently that didn't work for Sam). I could really tell that she knew what she was talking about, and that she was very confident in her subject. To be honest, though, this wasn't what I would expect from a convocation. Chemistry is a very narrow subject to talk about if the goal of convocation is to call the scholars together. What I mean to say is: To me, convocations should be about something to which everybody can relate, like more moral and societal issues. But despite that fact, I still really enjoyed the speech. -- BB

First off I would like to say that this convocation was by far the most boring topic we have had. But despite the terrible topic i did find that the way professor Richmond started the lecture was quite nice. She added some humor and kept me awake for about the first 10 minutes. Then she began to actually get into the subject matter of her discussion and to be honest listening to her lecture was better than counting sheep because I was out like a light. Not only do i still not know what an angstrom is i also discovered that there is no chance of me becoming a chemist is this lifetime. The best thing I got from the convocation was the refreshing feeling i had when I walked out of JRC 101. JC
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Topic revision: r11 - 2010-10-04, JaysonCampos

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