Feb 15, 2017
Professor Neil Garg

An article by Professor Neil Garg and former graduate student Dr Tejas Shah appeared in the “In the Classroom” section of the newest Nature journal.  

BACON stands for Biology and Chemistry Online Notes and it is a series of online learning modules that help students learn organic chemistry – a subject which is considered by many to be very difficult. The tutorials illustrate the relevance of organic chemistry in medicine and other aspects of everyday life, which makes the subject easier to understand.
In the article titled "Organic chemistry can sizzle" Shah and Garg write that “so far, the organic chemistry BACON tutorials have been used as supplemental materials for more than 150 courses, spanning at least 75 colleges and universities in the United States, Canada, Europe, Mexico, Japan, India and the Middle East. Nearly 15,000 students have been educated by BACON tutorials to date.”
(Left) Alumnus Dr. Tejas Shah with Prof. Neil Garg at Shah’s commencement in 2016. (Right) An image from a BACON tutorial about penicillin.
They started the project in 2014 when Shah was a teaching assistant for Garg’s Chem 14D organic chemistry course and a graduate student in his lab. Shah received his Ph.D. in 2016 and is currently a discovery chemist at Dow AgroSciences, although he is still affectionately known as the “BACON Master.”
Over the past two years, several UCLA organic chemistry graduate and undergraduate students have helped to improve the BACON tutorials through teaching assistantships and undergraduate apprenticeships. The project has received financial support from many individuals and pharmaceutical companies, which has enabled them to make BACON available to students around the world.  
For more about the project, including information on how to provide financial support for this initiative, visit learnbacon.com.
Read the entire Nature Reviews article here.