Memorizing vs. Learning–Organic Chemistry Nomenclature.

I got a good question from a student recently:  “Should I memorize this or not?”

To be breif on this introduction, there are two types of students: memorizers and learners.  Which is better?  Both are a good, but being a combination of the two is the best.  That being said, there are certain times where one is essential.  Nomenclature is one of those.

Meth – 1

Eth – 2

Prop – 3

But -4

Pent – 5

Hex – 6

Hept – 7

Oct – 8

Non – 9

Dec – 10

If you memorize these now, you will save yourself a world of trouble down the road.  So, in conclusion, I am not a HUGE fan of memorization, but this is one instance where it is a good idea.

Dr. Michael Pa got a bachelors degree in chemistry from Binghamton University, a masters degree in organic chemistry from the University of Arizona and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Arizona. His research focus was on novel pain killers which were more potent than morphine but designed to have fewer side effects. There may even be a patent or two that came out of it. Prior to all of this, he was a chemist at Procter and Gamble. After all of that, he (briefly) worked as a post-doctoral assistant at Syracuse University, working on novel organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). In between, he did NOT compete at the 1996 Olympics, make the Atlanta Braves opening day roster, or become the head coach of the Indiana Pacers, as he had intended. #fail During this entire time, he always loved helping students, especially if they were struggling with organic chemistry. In 2006, Dr. Pa founded in order to make learning organic chemistry fast and easy. 14 years and about 60,000 students later we are still helping students to learn organic chemistry one reaction at a time at