Final Post: New Organic Multistep Synthesis

Hello all,

As the summer comes to an end, I am pleased to report that the new multi-step synthesis for the second semester organic chemistry lab was a complete success with 100% of our students completing the four-step procedure and synthesizing a p-terphenyl derivative. The new procedure will be broken up into three lab periods, and for those of you taking the Organic Chemistry 2 lab in the fall, prepare for an exciting, challenging and ultimately rewarding experience as we continue to advance the W&M chemistry curriculum.

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Wrapping it Up

Today is my last full day of research! I took the last week and change off, after completing the seven full weeks of full-time work to go to the beach with my family; it was a much appreciated break from all the reading and writing I’ve been doing as of late. I’m glad that I was able to take a break before wrapping everything up– today I’ve spent re-reading, editing, and organizing my paper. I just put the finishing touches on it. Not including works cited, I have about 19 pages of writing summarizing my findings. I’m really proud to have completed a final product; I’ve never written anything quite as expansive or involved before, and I’m glad that I have the document to pull everything together. The folder for the project on my desktop is a mess of literature, notes from the literature, interviews, outlines, and more.

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Experimental Methods



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Conclusion: Where my data goes

32 counties’ data sets on settler population are complete (just a few more await me in the Fall). So what now? My data on settler populations taken from pre-independence colonial records will be used to create the first-of-its-kind comprehensive geospatial dataset on the economic footprint of colonialism across 36+ African countries. My teammates trained in the art of GIS (geographical information system), will use my geo-coded sub-national locations (town, region, district, province, etc) will create these GIS maps that show for each country where settler population densities were located and we hope that in the end, they will not line up with areas with high development now based on high colonial expenditure then. What do these have in common? Well based on development/colonial literature, many believe settler population from the metropole affects development. Basically, the metropole government will always take care of their own. If a lot of settlers settle in Accra, Ghana for example, then the development there will be better then surrounding areas. We want this to be disproved as a means of supporting our own theory that development now stems from a path dependent effect that cash crops had on the areas in which they were cultivated. This means that in Ghana, for example, the Cocoa Coast should have the highest development ratings. With this control done, we have more to move on to in order to eliminate all other possibilities!