Course Webpage:

Last Updated: April 15, 2020



This project-based course is designed to introduce core concepts and build essential skills for tackling problems in experimental chemistry. Particular emphasis is placed on developing familiarity with the wealth of experimental and computational tools now available to elucidate the structure-function relationships of inorganic solids in bulk crystals, thin films, and nanoscale objects. Specific topics covered are chosen by the students who enroll in the course, and may include basic crystallography, structure determination by x-ray, neutron, and electron diffraction, fundamental concepts of bonding in solids, lattice dynamics, electronic band structure, magnetism, and strongly correlated electron behavior. Relationships between structure and observed materials properties such as electrical conductivity, superconductivity, thermoelectricity, and optical properties can also be explored. The role of data and data analytics/machine learning/AI techniques in materials will be discussed. The second half of the course is devoted to projects developing specific computational/measurement/analysis tools to tackle student-chosen and led problems. Materials-interested students across the university encouraged to take this course.

All chemistry graduate students who will be studying materials should take this course. Note for physics students: this course is designed to be complementary to AS.171.405 (Condensed Matter Physics). There should be only nominal overlap between the two courses, so you will find value in taking both.


Per University policy, starting March 12th, 2020, and continuing to the end of the semester, class sessions will be held virtually over Zoom. Please visit to test your connectivity.

Class Times: TuTh 10:30-11:45 AM
Classroom: UTL G98 (68 on the campus map)

Prof. Tyrel M. McQueen
Office: New Chemistry Building #312 and Bloomberg #301
Office Hours: by appointment or just stopping by ("open door policy")

Grading: Four projects each worth 20%. 20% final report and presentation.

Supplementary Resources:

Tentative Schedule (Specific projects will change based on student input!)
Week 1: Introduction to materials chemistry [TMMHO]
Week 2-6: Project 1: Density Functional Theory and Beyond [TMMHO]
Week 7-9: Project 2: Big Data and Realtime Data Processing [TMMHO]
Week 10-14: Project 3: Student Projects (Due morning of final exam)
Thursday, May 7th Final Exam Presentations Presentations run 10:30AM-"Done"

Reading Assignments


Recorded Lectures

Internet Resources

Audit Policy

Graduate students are allowed to audit the course. It is required that you attend most of the lectures, and strongly recommended that you look at and complete the homework assignments.