Dr. Dean Johnston has been developing new materials on coding and cheminformatics and has been working on a collaborative teaching project with outside experts and faculty at four other institutions around the world

Posted Apr 02, 2021

Dr. Dean Johnston has been developing new materials to incorporate coding and cheminformatics into the classroom. Cheminformatics combines the fields of chemistry, computers and information science, and it has applications ranging from materials development to drug discovery. Dr. Johnston has been working on a collaborative teaching project, Cheminformatics Online Chemistry Course (OLCC), organized by the ACS Division of Chemical Education and the Committee on Computers in Chemical Education that bring together outside experts and faculty who simultaneously teach similar courses at four other institutions around the world. Together with his colleagues, he authored a publication in the Journal of Chemical Education that describes some of this work.

With funding from the National Science Foundation, Dr. Johnston also developed, and now maintains, a website that illustrates the complexity of molecular and crystallographic symmetry. Faculty and students from around the world use this website to visualize molecules with over 10,000 visitors per week from over 150 countries. Almost 60 percent of views came from outside of the U.S. Dr. Johnston’s work is also linked from numerous textbooks and online video lectures to demonstrate specific symmetry properties. “I love teaching at Otterbein,” Dr. Johnston said. “But, there’s a satisfaction knowing that my work is used by students from around the world.”