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Dr. Gregory McColm


The development, design, and analysis of the Square Trigonal Prismatic (stp) crystal net by Alexander Schoedel at the University of South Florida (USF) serves as a case study for bridging mathematics and chemistry. By conducting analysis from both viewpoints alongside elaboration of field-specific concepts and terminologies, we present the approach each field takes when engineering crystal nets. For chemistry, we develop common chemical knowledge into terminology and theory specific to the field of Metal-Organic Materials (MOMs) in which stp was develop. For mathematics, we discuss graph theory and polyhedra and build towards the concepts of symmetry using point groups and space groups.

We present the terminology and methodology of each field to enable communication across field and include a discussion on the various layers that disrupt easy communication across fields. These layers include misunderstandings in terminology, misconceptions and stereotypes of mathematics, and the problem of information distribution in chemistry lab. By presenting each, we hope to inspire professionals to address such barriers. With the analysis of stp, basic terminology, and elaboration on what is dividing the fields, we create a common ground on which mathematicians and chemists can discuss and collaborate.