CHEM 262 - Mathematical Methods for Physical Scientists
Fall 2020, Section 100
Instruction Mode: Section 100 is   Hybrid (see other Sections below)
Subject: Chemistry (CHEM)
Department: LSA Chemistry
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Requirements & Distribution:
Advisory Prerequisites:
MATH 115 and 116.
This course counts toward the 60 credits of math/science required for a Bachelor of Science degree.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


CHEM 262, Mathematical Methods for the Physical Sciences, follows two terms of basic math (MATH 115 and 116) and is meant to provide students in the physical sciences with a comprehensive and rigorous introduction to the mathematical concepts and tools most relevant to these sciences. The goals of this course are two-fold: To establish knowledge of the mathematical foundations underlying the physical and chemical sciences, and To develop problem solving and mathematical reasoning skills. The mathematical tools introduced include, infinite series, complex numbers, linear algebra, multi-variable calculus, vector analysis, Fourier series and transform, ordinary and partial differential equations. CHEM 262 aims at providing the mathematical foundations necessary for the advanced physical chemistry, biophysics, and biophysical chemistry courses including CHEM 402, 453, 454, 461, 463, and BIOPHYS 370, 417, 454, 463.

All of the lecture material is available online in an asynchronous mode. There are set deadlines for viewing lecture playlists three times a week. Class meetings are dedicated to group problem solving discussions and are focused on the problem sets. This term the class will be divided into groups, each meeting twice a week for face-to-face sessions with the professor. At least one group will meet in person when possible and at least one group will meet online only through Zoom all term. In addition, two optional online-only problem-solving sessions will be scheduled every week for the entire class. These sessions will be held using Zoom.

Course Requirements:

Grading in this course includes participation in the face-to-face sessions either online or in person, quizzes on the lecture playlists through Canvas, 12 problem sets to be submitted as pdf files through Canvas, and three timed exams each with components completed using Canvas Quizzes and via the upload of pdf solutions on Canvas. The exams will be synchronous with midterms in the evening of 10/5 and 11/5 but will not require in-person attendance.

Intended Audience:

Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Biophysics majors. Other majors in the physical sciences.

Class Format:

This course will use Canvas for all online components. Synchronous online sessions will be conducted through Zoom. Students will need access to a camera and microphone, as well as the ability to scan written work to pdf files and upload these to Canvas. Some problems will require the use of specialized software, Matlab, available to students for download to a personal computer through University of Michigan virtual sites.

Although attendance at face-to-face sessions is required and contributes to the grade, online students may discuss alternatives with the professor in extraordinary circumstances. Attendance at 23 of the 26 face-to-face sessions is sufficient for total credit for participation. Access to a tablet with a stylus for writing (for example: iPad with Apple pencil (any generation), Samsung tablet, Microsoft Surface with stylus) will be helpful, but is not necessary. Scans of solutions written on paper will be sufficient.


CHEM 262 - Mathematical Methods for Physical Scientists
Schedule Listing
100 (LEC)
MWF 9:00AM - 10:00AM

Do not hesitate to register because of exam time conflicts; we offer same-day alternate exam times. Information about alternate time exams will be provided by instructors after the semester begins.

101 (DIS)
 In Person
Tu 11:00AM - 12:00PM
102 (DIS)
 In Person
Tu 12:00PM - 1:00PM
110 (DIS)
Tu 12:00PM - 1:00PM

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for CHEM 262 (UM login required)

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CourseProfile (Atlas)

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CourseProfile (Atlas)