License gift from Schrodinger will enhance materials science courses

A gift of software licenses valued at $50,000 will enhance materials science courses taught by chemistry instructors Tim Anglin and Bob Gotwals.

Schrodinger, Inc., a developer of computational software for pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and materials science research, will donate at least 100 licenses of its suite of advanced software tools to NCSSM. The estimated value of this gift is $50,000. 

“Exposing high school students to practical applications of computational chemistry demonstrates how these students can help cure diseases using rational drug design, and that chemistry is not all about balancing equations,” says John Dowling, vice president of sales at Schrodinger.

Tim Anglin, the newest faculty member in chemistry, has developed a course in materials science. “Having the Schrodinger materials science suite of software for the Materials Chemistry course immediately enhances the scope and depth of topics that we can cover,” Anglin says. “This resource will allow our students to explore the links between chemical, mechanical, and electronic properties in polymers and solids across a much larger set of compounds than we could reasonably provide in the physical laboratory. Combining computational tools with the laboratory experience allows students to see both the macroscopic and molecular view of what’s taking place and reach a more thorough conceptual understanding.”

Chemistry instructor Bob Gotwals also plans to use the software tools in his classes, specifically in computational biology/bioinformatics and computational medicinal chemistry. “These tools open up a rich resource of possibilities, particularly in the areas of quantitative structure-activity relationship studies, protein-ligand docking work, and other drug screening activities,” Gotwals says. “Students will be able to spend more time interacting with the molecules computationally, rather than spending time simply collecting data from various online resources.”  

Anglin and Gotwals will work this fall to develop new labs using the various software packages and integrate them into existing and new courses. 

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