Structural Science: New Ways to Teach the Next Generation (Part 2)

Conference: 2020: 70th ACA Annual Meeting
08/06/2020: 12:00 PM  - 3:00 PM 


Opening Remarks

12:00 PM - 12:10 PM 

Inviting Others to Life in Reciprocal Space

12:10 PM - 12:35 PM 
Crystallography is an important science that impacts many areas of research. The number of users of crystallographic techniques has increased significantly over the past decades, as diffractometers have become readily available, and many commercial programs with user-friendly interfaces have been developed. The growth in computing power has led to the development of advanced methods that were unthinkable in the past. Yet at the same time, formal crystallography teaching has declined, with many programs no longer offering formal crystallography classes. This combination has resulted in many avoidable errors in data collection, processing and interpretation of results. Making crystallographic teaching, both of theoretical concepts and hands-on training in data processing and analysis, available to the next generations of crystallographers is a crucial mandate. This talk gives a glimpse at several possible avenues to invite newcomers to a successful life in reciprocal space. 

View Abstract 138


Cora Lind-Kovacs, Dept of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Univ of Toledo Toledo, OH 

The National School on Neutron and X-ray scattering (NX school) at Argonne and Oak Ridge National Lab

12:35 PM - 1:00 PM 
The National School on Neutron and X-ray scattering (NX school) takes place at Argonne and Oak Ridge National Laboratory every summer to educate graduate students from universities and institutes in North America in the use of neutron and x-ray facilities. The School is funded by the U. S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences, and Materials Sciences and Engineering Division to support the next generation scientists in their research related to physics, chemistry, materials science, geoscience, engineering or related fields. Every year, 60 students are selected and admitted to the school. The students become familiar with state-of-the-art methods lectured by the leading experts in the fields. Researchers from academia, industry, and national laboratories present tutorials on the principles of scattering theory and the characteristics of the sources, as well as lectures on the application of scattering methods to a variety of scientific subjects. The students conduct hands-on short experiments at Argonne's Advanced Photon Source and at Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Spallation Neutron Source and High Flux Isotope Reactor. They will gain experience at a user facility and meet beamline scientists to discuss possible applications for their graduate work. The School is jointly organized and conducted by researchers at Argonne and Oak Ridge National Lab supported by Argonne's Educational Programs and Outreach Division. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the 22nd NX School was converted to a virtual format. 

View Abstract 281


Uta Ruett, Argonne National Laboratory Lemont, IL 

Coffee Break

1:00 PM - 1:20 PM 

High Impact Small Molecule Crystallography Skills Development Through Local Undergraduate Curriculum and Regional Workshops and Schools

1:20 PM - 1:45 PM 
Resources to develop high impact skills in small molecule diffraction data collection and interpretation can be limited by facility access, expert availability and the budgetary requirement to meet a critical mass of participants before it becomes practical to offer instruction. At the local level, shared resources between institutions, as well as curriculum approaches that incorporate scaffolding practices from first year general chemistry to senior undergraduate capstone courses, can be employed to equip trainees with skills in structural science. Looking to the regional and (inter)national level, the Canadian National Committee for Crystallography (CNCC) Chemical Crystallography Workshop (CCCW) [1] and the American Crystallographic Association (ACA) Summer Course in Chemical Crystallography [2] have now past their first (CNCC) and third (ACA) decades of instruction, and several hundred trainees have participated in these opportunities. As a post-secondary instructor, the organizer for CCCW2019 and 2020, and a past instructor at the ACA Summer Course, my talk will highlight (1) the diversity of experiences that trainees have, (2) logistical aspects of organizing and teaching in these various ventures, with a look at the transition to remote delivery for CCCW2020 amid the current pandemic, and (3) I will share some insights and results from past trainees whose research practices have been transformed as a result of these learning opportunities. [1] Canadian National Committee for Crystallography: [2] American Crystallographic Association Summer Course in Chemical Crystallography: 

View Abstract 158


Louise Dawe, Wilfrid Laurier Univ Kitchener, ON 

Teaching a Large Scale Crystallography School with Zoom Webinar

1:45 PM - 2:10 PM 
In order to address the loss of crystallographic training opportunities resulting from the cancellation of conventional schools around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic we have started an online crystallography school with live lectures and live Q&A using Zoom Webinar. As we submit this abstract, we are in the middle of the first edition of the school and plan to broadcast a second edition of the school in July. Since we are trying to reach a large audience in a relatively short period, we have limited the school to ten 1-1.5 hour lectures covering practical aspects of small molecule crystallography including data collection, data processing and structure solution. In the school, we are also covering some advanced topics that students commonly see in their work: absolute structure determination, twinning and disorder. To round out the education, we are providing lectures on macromolecular crystallography and powder diffraction. So that students might practice on their own, we are using freely available data reduction and structure solution software, as well as data sets with which to practice. To give students credit for course completion, we are providing an online exam and an electronic certificate of completion. In this presentation, we will provide some insight into the issues of holding lectures with up to 750 students of very diverse backgrounds and review the efficacy of the school in teaching crystallography for the two cohorts of students. 

View Abstract 242


Joseph Ferrara, Rigaku Americas Corp The Woodlands, TX 

Additional Author(s)

Mark Del Campo, Life Sciences, Rigaku Americas Corporation The Woodlands, TX 
Christian Goeb, Rigaku Europe SE Neu-Isenburg
Pierre Le Magueres, Rigaku Americas Corporation The Woodlands, TX 
Horst Puschmann, OlexSys Ltd Durham
Mathias Meyer, Rigaku Polska Sp. z o.o. Wroclaw, Poland 
Christian Schuermann, Rigaku Europe SE Neu-Isenburg
Paul Swepston, Rigaku Corporation
Alexandra Stanley, Rigaku Europe SE Neu-Isenburg
Akhilesh Tripathi, Rigaku Americas Corp The Woodlands, TX 
Fraser White, Rigaku Europe SE Neu-Isenburg
Jakub Wojciechowski, Rigaku Europe SE Neu-Isenburg

An X-ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL) Science Education Model Designed for Large Centers and Its Application To Individual Laboratories

2:10 PM - 2:35 PM 
The emergence of new technology and techniques involving the use of X-ray Free Electron Lasers (XFEL) has had a profound impact on the advancement of scientific understanding in dynamic systems. These achievements have led to new developments in an array of fields from materials design and watching catalytic reactions occurring in real time to single particle imaging of biomolecules. However, the highly disciplinary field of XFEL science also presents unique challenges in educating the next generation of scientists. Here we present a progressive education program developed by the NSF Science and Technology Center, BioXFEL, and provide specific examples of our initiatives and activities, outcomes and metrics for success. We hope to provide a roadmap and best practices for large, center-scale education programs and individual laboratories that are interested in designing broader impacts for NSF proposals. The Center has created a comprehensive set of customized initiatives that is designed for undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral associates and young scientists. Additionally, we routinely lead outreach activities for primary school and high school students. The main educational goal of the Center, at all levels, is to ensure that our scholars are academically and professionally prepared for their current responsibilities and future career aspirations. However, we also recognize that empowering a diverse cohort of future XFEL scientific leaders benefits our scholars as well as the general scientific community. By addressing the specific challenges related to designing and implementing our educational programming model, we hope to provide guidance on creating customized training and professional development opportunities. BioXFEL Science and Technology Center, NSF Award 1231306. Created with input from the BioXFEL Education and Diversity Committee. 

View Abstract 139


WILLIAM BAUER, HWI Williamsville, NY 


2:35 PM - 3:00 PM