March 1, 2012 (Vol. 32, No. 5)


Strong Points: Large number of syntheses included
Weak Points: Lacks chemical names and arrow diagrams




Learning organic chemistry and making flashcards go together like peanut butter and jelly. The Chemistry by Design app takes students of organic chemistry into the present technological age by providing a collection of interactive, virtual flashcards for 288 synthetic sequences. Synthetic sequences are displayed one reaction at a time. Users can choose to hide reaction conditions and products with gray boxes to quiz themselves. The boxes are removed upon tapping the screen. Literature references are provided for each synthesis. Users can browse the contents of the app by compound name, author, or year. Additionally, users can browse the syntheses for 22 pharmaceutical drugs. A search option is also available. My major critique of the app is that chemical names of the starting materials or intermediates are not included; neither are arrow diagrams.