3.091 | Fall 2018 | Undergraduate

Introduction to Solid-State Chemistry

Instructor Insights

Instructor Insights

"Every time we teach, we can take what we’re teaching and try to give it some sort of context."
— Prof. Jeffrey Grossman

Below, Professor Jeffrey Grossman describes various aspects of how he teaches 3.091 Introduction to Solid-State Chemistry.

Learn More! In the following video from MIT’s Festival of Learning in 2018, Professor Grossman discusses his use of goodie bags and real-life applications in teaching:

Hands-on Chemistry Learning in 3.091 from the 2018 Festival of Learning

Watch the video excerpt of Professor Grossman’s introductory speech to the students:

Video excerpt of Professor Grossman’s closing remarks to the students in the final lecture:

Curriculum Information



Requirements Satisfied


Every semester


The students’ grades were based on the following activities:

  • 25% Quizzes
  • 15% Exam 1
  • 15% Exam 2
  • 15% Exam 3
  • 30% Final exam

Student Information


455 (enrollment increasing in recent years).

Breakdown by Year

Primarily first-year students.

Breakdown by Major

Various majors, particularly in engineering, science, and health-related fields.

Typical Student Background

Most first-year students at MIT will have had one year of high-school-level chemistry.

How Student Time Was Spent

During an average week, students were expected to spend 12 hours on the course, divided as follows:


Met 3 times per week for 1 hour per session; 39 sessions total; mandatory attendance.


Recitations, led by graduate or advanced undergraduate teaching assistants, met 2 times per week for 1 hour per session; in these sessions, students reviewed concepts from the lectures and took regular quizzes.

Out of Class

Outside of class, students completed hands-on homework activities (ungraded) and prepared for quizzes and exams.

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2018
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Videos
Tutorial Videos
Problem Sets with Solutions
Online Textbook
Instructor Insights