The CIMS Project

About the Project

The CIMS project is creating instructional materials that, while designed for use in discipline-specific courses, aid students in drawing connections between disciplines such as chemistry, biology and materials science. The scope is molecular science, including both the study of how molecular structure and motion lead to emergent macroscopic properties, and the synthesis/engineering of structures with desirable properties. The disciplines share these goals of molecular science and, although the focus and details may differ, recurring patterns appear in the explanatory frameworks and tools employed in each of the disciplines. The materials make these recurring patterns explicit for students, such that they can integrate the ideas across disciplines and construct a coherent and robust base of molecular science knowledge.

CIMS Activities

Right now, the CIMS project includes tutorials and particulate level visualizations.

Technical Implementation

The CIMS activities were built with a general simulation engine implemented in Adobe Flash. This engine supports:
  • Weak interactions via Lennard-Jones potentials
  • Covalent interactions via harmonic springs
  • Ballistic (i.e. gas phase) dynamics
  • Brownian dynamics
  • Walls with specific temperatures
  • Semi-permeable membranes
  • User-specifiable reactions (i.e. formation and breaking of covalent bonds)
  • Construction of user interfaces via Adobe Flex, which makes creating an interface accessible to those with little programming experience

Collaborate with Us!

We are looking for educators interested in testing simulations and associate curricula, or helping build additional simulations. For more information and access to unreleased simulations and additional curriculum materials, please contact us.