Robert C. KerberRobert C. Kerber, Distinguished Teaching Professor

S.B. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1960
Ph.D. Purdue University, 1965

314 Chemistry
Phone: (631) 632-6164

Chemical Education

My principal professional activities center about chemical education in its many forms. Classroom teaching involves principally general chemistry and organic chemistry, from the freshman to the graduate student level. Current areas of scholarly interest include:

(1) the introduction of fresh case studies as a means of creating or enhancing classroom interest in chemical principles;

(2) the ways in which terminology accepted by experienced practitioners impedes understanding by novices, and reform of archaic or outdated terminology;

(3) use of ConcepTests and other means of maintaining and enhancing active intellectual involvement of students in chemistry classrooms.


  • Humboldt Foundation Fellowship Award, 1973-1974
  • SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, 1985-1986
  • Academy of Teachers-Scholars, 2000-2003


"Elephantiasis of the Textbook," R. C. Kerber, J. Chem. Educ. 65 (1988) 719.

"Getting Real: A General Chemistry Laboratory Program Focusing on ‘Real World’ Substances," R. C. Kerber and M. J. Akhtar, J. Chem. Educ. 73 (1996) 1023-5.

"Markovnikov’s Rule in History and Pedagogy," R. C. Kerber, Foundations of Chemistry 4 (2002) 61-72.

"Carbon Dioxide Flooding: A Classroom Case Study Derived from Surgical Practice," R. C. Kerber, J. Chem. Educ. 80 (2003) 1437-8.

"If It’s Resonance, What is Resonating?" R.C. Kerber, J. Chem. Educ., in press (March, 2006).

"The A1c Blood Test: An Illustration of Principles from General and Organic Chemistry," R. C. Kerber, submitted to J. Chem. Educ. (Aug. 2005).