Carl Wieman received his B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1973 and his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1977. He was at the University of Colorado from 1984 to 2006 as a Distinguished Professor of Physics and Presidential Teaching Scholar. In January 2007, he joined the University of British Columbia as the Director of the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative (CWSEI); he retains a 20% appointment at the University of Colorado, Boulder to head the science education initiative he founded. These collaborative initiatives are aimed at achieving departmental-wide sustainable change in undergraduate science education.
He has carried out research in a variety of areas of atomic physics and laser spectroscopy. His research has been recognized with numerous awards including the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2001. He has worked on a variety of research and innovations in teaching physics to a broad range of students, including the Physics Education Technology Project, (PhET) that creates educational online interactive simulations and studies their effectiveness. He also does research on student beliefs about physics and on problem-solving skills. He is a recipient of the National Science Foundation’s Distinguished Teaching Scholar Award in 2001, the Carnegie Foundation’s U.S. University Professor of the Year Award in 2004, and the American Association of Physics Teachers’ Oersted Medal in 2007. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and chairs the Academy Board on Science Education.
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