Colorado State University’s College of Natural Sciences will host Carl Wieman, 2001 Nobel Prize Winner in Physics, as a Monfort Professor-in-Residence lecturer on Monday, Nov. 2.
The presentation, “Science Education in the 21st Century: Using the Methods of Science to Teach Science,” will be 3-4 p.m. in the Lory Student Center Theatre. A reception will follow the presentation in the LSC Theatre Lobby.
The Monfort Professors-in-Residence program brings accomplished leaders from business, government, and the arts to campus to interact with students and enrich their learning experiences. The program is supported by a generous gift from the Monfort Family Foundation.
Wieman is an American physicist at the University of British Columbia and heads the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative, an innovative program to reshape science education at University of Colorado-Boulder. He also continues to manage the science education project he founded in Colorado.
Wieman’s lecture is centered on the concept that science, as guided by experimental tests of theory and practice, has advanced rapidly over the past 500 years. Meanwhile, science education, directed primarily by tradition and dogma, has remained largely medieval.
He received his bachelor’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1973 and his doctoral degree from Stanford University in 1977. He served as a Distinguished Professor of Physics and Presidential Teaching Scholar at CU from 1984 to 2006. In January 2007, he began his tenure at the University of British Columbia as the Director of the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative. He retains a 20 percent appointment at the University of Colorado to head the science education initiative he founded.
He has carried out research in a variety of areas of atomic physics and laser spectroscopy, culminating with the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2001. He has worked on a variety of research and innovations on teaching physics to a broad range of students, including the Physics Education Technology Project, which creates educational online interactive simulations and studies their effectiveness.
His many awards include the U.S. University Professor of the Year in 2004, awarded by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Higher Education; the National Science Foundation’s Distinguished Teaching Scholar Award in 2001; and the American Association of Physics Teacher’s Oersted Medal in 2007.
Wieman is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and serves on the Academy Board on Science Education. He is also a member of the U.S. National Academy of Education.