Tina Huang

 Tina Huang

Contact Information

Department of Chemistry
University of Illinois
3030 Chemistry Annex
601 S. Mathews Avenue
Urbana, IL, 61801
Director of Undergraduate Studies; Lecturer

Biography

Dr. Huang received her BS degree in Chemistry from Bethel College and her PhD in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Kansas in 1998. She then served as a postdoctoral associate at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Dr. Huang taught General Chemistry, Quantitative Analysis, and Instrumental Methods for eight years at Lafayette College (Easton, PA) prior to joining the General Chemistry teaching faculty in 2011.

Teaching Philosophy

As an educator, it is my calling to provide students with the necessary skills that will allow them to do well in the next stage of their education and ultimately to be successful in any field and future endeavor they choose. These skills include: understanding fundamental concepts, developing problem solving skills, and acquiring the ability to think critically and analytically.  Depending on the level of the student, I utilize different approaches to accomplish these goals.  For introductory courses, I concentrate on helping students understand fundamental chemical concepts and guide them through the problem solving process.  I often tell my students that the process of learning chemistry is analogous to playing a sport or a musical instrument. The key to success is practice, practice, practice!  For the intermediate and upper-level courses, I adopt similar approaches, but here I expect more independent thinking and the ability to apply knowledge from previous courses.  In these courses, I often use examples from current events (i.e. melamine contamination in infant formula) and research trends to emphasize concepts and applications.

In all my courses I bring in the background history and related human aspects of the specific chemical concepts I am teaching, often drawing my inspiration and examples from books that I have read or am currently reading (i.e. Uncle Tungsten by Oliver Sacks, The God Particle by Leon Lederman, and more recently, The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean).  My intention in doing this is to enrich my students’ knowledge by showing them that there is more to chemistry then knowing specific concepts and mechanisms, and that learning is a rewarding and lifelong process.  Ultimately, I would like to see my students use the knowledge they acquire in my courses in productive and creative ways; and to be independent thinkers, and well-informed individuals in the true spirit of the liberal arts.  

 

Research Description

In addition to teaching, I am also interested in developing sensitive analytical techniques to measure contaminants in aquatic environments. I am currently working on a research project with Prof. Robert Hudson at the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences.

Distinctions / Awards

  • 2008 Petroleum Research Fund Summer Research Fellowship (with Prof. Slava Rotkin, Lehigh University)
  • 2004-2007 NSF Major Research Instrumentation Grant (CTS-0421052)
  • 1999-2001 NRC Postdoctoral Fellowship (NIST, Gaithersburg)
  • 1997-98 DAAD Graduate Research Fellowship (Berlin, Germany)