International organization names UALR chemistry professor a fellow

Dr. Robert E. BelfordDr. Robert E. Belford, UALR associate professor of Chemistry, was recently invited to join the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry as a fellow by IUPAC President Kazuyuki Tatsumi.

The international organization is responsible for the standardization of metrics and nomenclature related to the chemical sciences.

Belford’s honor was in recognition for past service as a task group chairman on an IUPAC education project associated with the joint IUPAC/UNESCO International Year of Chemistry 2011.

Belford said one of his first objectives as an IUPAC Fellow will be to promote education programs associated with the International Year of Crystallography 2014, which is co-sponsored by UNESCO and the International Union of Crystallography.

He was also appointed in December to his second three-year term as chair of the Committee on Computers in Chemical Education of the American Chemical Society’s Division of Chemical Education, the largest scientific society in the world.

UALR is the lead institution for a National Science Foundation-funded intercollegiate course in cheminformatics being developed through the CCCE in collaboration with Dr. David J. Wild of Indiana University Bloomington School of Informatics and Computing.

The project involves multiple universities and chemical societies including the IUPAC Committee on Chemistry Education, the IUPAC InChI (International Chemical Identifier) Trust and the Royal Society of Chemistry’s ChemSpider cheminformatics portal.

Belford said one of the major aims of the project is integrating recent advances in e-science and semantic web technologies into the undergraduate chemistry curriculum.

“Scientific societies such as IUPAC are central to the development of standards for the digital representation of chemical information, which is critical for their adoption in these new modes of scientific communication,” he said.

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