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SP01/SP02 will not be offered--Professors are too busy this year

By Eric Richard

After two years of successful operation, the freshman science option of Chemistry, Materials Science and Biology (SP01 and SP02) has been cancelled, and will soon be replaced by two similar courses, according to Professor of Chemistry Robert J. Silbey '42.

For the last two years, freshmen could satisfy their chemistry requirement with either Principles in Chemistry (5.11), Introduction to Solid State Chemistry (3.091) or the SP01/SP02 combination, which combined the two chemistry courses with Introduction to Biology (previously known as 7.01, now 7.012 and 7.013).

The SP01/SP02 program was cancelled when scheduling conflicts between two of the program's three professors occurred. Vernon M. Ingram, professor of biology, went on sabbatical at the end of last year. Silbey took over as head of the chemistry department last October when Mark S. Wrighton, the previous department chair, became provost.

Because the biology department was busy developing new courses for its requirement, and the professors in the chemistry and material science and engineering departments were all responsible for other courses, no faculty members were available to replace the course's original teaching staff. Silbey also attributed this to a "lack of enthusiasm" in each of the departments.

Efforts underway

to replace class

Despite this, efforts are already underway to create similar classes that will be offered in the future.

Silbey said, "There is no question that chem and material science will put something together. They have already agreed to that, and simply need to work out a syllabus. I also wouldn't doubt seeing a combination offered between the chemistry and biology departments." The first of these programs should be offered within a year or two, he added.

Silbey was not optimistic about a future course combining material from all three departments. He said that it was obvious to both the students and professors of SP01 and SP02 that three teachers offering three viewpoints in the same class led to a lack of continuity.

The SP01 and SP02 programs were first implemented as an experimental course. They were put together by Silbey, Ingram and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering Ronald M. Latanision and were described by Silbey as "an attempt to combine the various flavors of each of the courses while fulfilling the Institute's science requirement."

SP01 could be used to satisfy the chemistry requirement, while SP02 could fulfill one science distribution requirement.