Flexible Learning and Assessment Package for Teaching Data Analysis and Chemometrics in Analytical Chemistry

Mark Selby

Abstract


Instrumentation for analytical chemistry has become enormously productive and convenient to use in recent times. However, despite successes in automation and computer software, the person driving the instrument is still of prime importance. In the wrong hands, even the very best computer controlled instrumentation will only produce more meaningless data faster. In analytical chemistry it is the quality of the data produced that is of the utmost importance. A related issue is the spread of chemometrics into the workplace for solving routine analytical chemistry problems in areas, which include everything from the petroleum industry to the environment to foodstuffs to forensic science.

Students do learn about quality and data analysis principles in a statistics unit that they undertake but usually they are unable to make the connection between what they learn in statistics and what they learn in analytical chemistry. In any case, generalist statistics units don’t go far enough to prepare students for using chemometrics software packages in professional life.

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