Webmo as a teaching tool

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A new version of webmo has been recently released. For those of you unfamiliar with this piece of software it is a web-based front-end for several QC codes such as Gaussian and Molpro.

As part of the my teaching responsibilities in my new post I’ve had to “demonstrate” in the BSc and MChem practical sessions for molecular modelling where webmo is used. I must say that I was very impressed with it, as it is accessed with a web browser it’s OS agnostic and allows students to start running some calculations quickly. Whilst a student undertaking a final year project may benefit more from learning some UNIX and actually looking at the input and output files from QC codes, webmo seems ideal for one-off practical sessions or as part of a short course in QC – the graphical output allows for an easy intrepretation of results, and there’s no need to explain z-matrices as the GUI does a reasonably good job of allowing you to draw structures.

There’s a demo version (free to use) on the webmo website, and the software itself is available in both free (reduced features) and paid for (as Webmo-Pro) versions. I’d recommend anyone undertaking any QC work to check it out.

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