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Arts and Sciences Today
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Susan Wiediger

Professor, Chemical Education
Department of Chemistry
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
College of Arts and Sciences
SLW 3160 (Office)
Edwardsville, Illinois 62026-1652.
Tel: (618) 650-3088 (Office)
Fax: (618) 650-3556

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1998 - Ph.D., Physical Chemistry, Rice University (Houston, TX)
Research Advisor: Philip R. Brooks
Thesis: Studies of Oriented Molecules Using Coincidence Time-of-Flight Mass Spectroscopy

1992 - B.S., Chemistry, cum laude, University of Rochester (Rochester, NY)
Undergraduate Research: Developing a Scanning Tunneling Microscope for classroom use with Dr. Dwayne Miller

Research Interest:

  • Pattern Languages involve the cross-comparison of multiple instructional settings to identify problem-solution pairs. Patterns are then tested through specific implementation with assessment. Currently safety patterns are of primary interest, seeking to connect industrial and academic knowledge bases. Recent projects have focused on identification of a leading indicator for behavior in introductory laboratories.

  • C.L.I.P. is a computer program that captures student work with custom data sets for analysis. Current data sets focus on periodic trends and are being analyzed within a grounded theory framework. Other aspects of this project connect to cognitive load theory. This project has been supported with a grant from the National Science Foundation.

  • Topic Maps are an interactive way of navigating complexly connected data. This is an area of Knowledge Management experiencing rapid growth. Dr. Wiediger's primary interest is how such multi-dimensional maps can be best used by instructors to guide curricular choices and by individuals to guide personal study programs.

  • Curriculum development projects depend on individual interests and/or course needs. Recent projects include: incorporation of x-ray diffraction and scanning probe microscopy into the chemistry curriculum (supported by two National Science Foundation grants); assessment of Sci 241a course (supported by an Excellence in Undergraduate Education grant); and development of a safer crystal growing activity for the middle school classroom.

Teaching Interest:

Dr. Wiediger teaches several types of courses for teachers: Chem 494 (methods for future high school teachers), Sci 451 (interdisciplinary science for future 6-12 teachers), and Sci 241a (interdisciplinary science for future elementary teachers). A new safety course is under development for pre- and in-service teachers. Dr. Wiediger also teaches lecture and laboratory courses in the General Chemistry sequence primarily taken by science majors, Chem 121a, 121b, 125a, and 125b. Most course material is maintained within the Blackboard system ( For more information about specific courses, please contact Dr. Wiediger directly.

Main Service Activities:

  • Chem Club, the American Chemical Society Student Affiliates chapter at SIUE ( Although no longer the primary advisor for the club, Dr. Wiediger remains deeply involved with the Cougars Volunteering for Science program, which sends teams of students to area schools to conduct hands-on science lessons.
  • Odyssey Summer Science Camp ( Dr. Wiediger is the director of the summer camps, working with coordinator Dawn Olive and experienced instructors to offer two week programs for children from 2nd grade to 9th grade. See the camp website for more information about the specific science and math activities offered in camp.
  • Faculty Senate ( and the Faculty Development Council. Dr. Wiediger was elected to the Faculty Senate starting Fall 2007.

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