Robert Whitnell

Departments and Positions:
Chemistry, Professor of Chemistry
Computing Technology & Information Systems, Professor of Chemistry
School Extension 316.2295
Reed College, BA, '83
University of Chicago, PHD, '88

Postdoctoral research associate and Assistant Research Chemist, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, San Diego, 1988-1994

Research Interests

  • Using computer modeling and visualization to explore questions such as:
  • How does energy flow from the surroundings into chemical reactants to drive a chemical reaction?
  • What is the role of water molecules in mediating the interactions between antibodies and the specific molecules they recognize?
  • Active engagement methods, particularly guided inquiry, in chemical education.

Courses Taught

  • Chem 111: Chemical Principles I
  • Chem 331: Physical Chemistry: Thermodynamics and Kinetics
  • Chem 332: Physical Chemistry: Quantum Mechanics and Spectroscopy
  • Chem 336 and 345: Integrated Laboratory
  • Chem 342: Inorganic and Physical Chemistry
  • Chem 400: Chemistry Seminar
  • CMIT 140: Introduction to Computer Programming
  • IDS 419: Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Life

Campus and Community Involvement

  • Clerk of the Faculty

Notable Works

  • “Conformational memories using variable bond angles,” Robert M. Whitnell, Dow P. Hurst, Patricia H. Reggio, and Frank Guarnieri, J. Comp. Chem. 29, 741 (2008).
  • Co-Principal Investigator with Sally S. Hunnicutt and Alexander Grushow, National Science Foundation Award 1044624, “POGIL-PCL and the Development and Implementation of Guided Inquiry Experiments for Physical Chemistry” (2011-2014).