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April 15, 2010

Wiley Partners with Reaction Explorer to Offer Interactive Organic Chemistry Learning System with Textbooks

Hoboken, NJ

John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (NYSE: JWa and JWb), a global leader in higher education publishing, is partnering with Irvine-based Reaction Explorer to bring new capabilities to the online organic chemistry market.

“As a worldwide leader in higher education, Wiley is always looking for the latest tools to help students succeed,” said Petra Recter, Associate Publisher, Wiley. “Reaction Explorer is a great example of our ability to identify and obtain such leading edge solutions. By accessing Reaction Explorer through WileyPLUS, our robust online teaching and learning solution for organic chemistry, students will be able to achieve a higher level of understanding of the intricacies of organic chemistry reactions, syntheses, and mechanisms.”

“Reaction Explorer uses expert system technology to predict the results of arbitrary organic chemistry reactions,” said Jonathan Chen, Reaction Explorer CEO. “This unique ability allows students to explore the results of novel reactions, regardless of whether they were anticipated by the developers.  Furthermore, it allows Reaction Explorer to generate a virtually limitless set of problems, offering students incentive to continually practice, and limiting their ability to copy solutions from others.”

Reaction Explorer was initially developed at the University of California, Irvine, in the laboratory of Professor Pierre Baldi, and has been used there for over 3 years to teach undergraduate organic chemistry. “During that time, Reaction Explorer analyzed grade data which showed that students at the University of California, Irvine, using the system achieved grades that averaged 10 points higher than those who did not use the system,” added Mr. Chen.

The Reaction Explorer system has two primary modules, focused on the most challenging and important problem-solving skills students learn in organic chemistry. Synthesis Explorer allows students to interactively learn and work through multi-step retrosynthesis problems, while Mechanism Explorer challenges a student’s ability to propose and sketch reasonable organic reaction mechanisms.

As a whole, Reaction Explorer delivers many unique advantages:

  • Offers students unlimited “replay” by generating a virtually limitless number of synthesis design and mechanism problems;
  • Encourages creative problem solving by allowing the use of reactions regardless of whether or not they fit the “correct” intended solution;
  • Provides feedback for reactions as chemical structure diagrams, not just text;
  • Allows inquiry based learning with free-form exploration in a “sandbox” mode by answering common questions of reactivity as a human instructor would;
  • Predicts products and curved-arrow mechanism diagrams for arbitrary reactions;
  • Allows students to interactively sketch mechanism diagrams with specific structure feedback at each step.

An evaluation version of Reaction Explorer is available at www.ReactionExplorer.com. Schools interested in adopting Reaction Explorer should contact Petra Recter at Wiley (precter@wiley.com). Anyone interested in learning more about Reaction Explorer can contact Reaction Explorer at info@reactionexplorer.com.

About Wiley

Founded in 1807, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. has been a valued source of information and understanding for more than 200 years, helping people around the world meet their needs and fulfill their aspirations. Wiley and its acquired companies have published the works of more than 400 Nobel laureates in all categories: Literature, Economics, Physiology or Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, and Peace.

Our core businesses publish scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, encyclopedias, books, and online products and services; professional/trade books, subscription products, training materials, and online applications and Web sites; and educational materials for undergraduate and graduate students and lifelong learners. Wiley's global headquarters are located in Hoboken, New Jersey, with operations in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Canada, and Australia. The Company's Web site can be accessed at http://www.wiley.com. The Company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols JWa and JWb.

About WileyPLUS

WileyPLUS is the complete online teaching and learning solution that integrates the most effective instructor and student resources, including the entire digital textbook, to fit every learning style. For more information, please visit www.wileyplus.com.

About Reaction Explorer

Reaction Explorer helps students learn Organic Chemistry by testing their understanding of organic chemistry reactions and the underlying mechanisms that control those reactions. Originally developed in 2005 as a research project at the University of California at Irvine, Reaction Explorer is now in its fourth year of use at UCI, where the organic chemistry department has adopted it as a standard part of the organic chemistry curriculum. Based on the success of this program the technology has been spun off into an independent company that is now making the system available to universities around the world through a strategic partnership with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.