IEEE-USA commends the confirmation of Nobel Laureate Dr. Carl E. Wieman to be associate director for science in the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Wieman was nominated by President Barack Obama in March and confirmed by the Senate Sept. 16.
"Dr. Wieman will provide strong leadership in support of the increased federal focus on improving K-12 education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)," IEEE-USA President Evelyn Hirt said. "STEM education is essential to sustaining America's standard of living, quality of life and long-term economic and technological competitiveness. The United States must have a scientifically and technologically literate workforce to compete in a global market."
Wieman received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2001, along with Eric A. Cornell and Wolfgang Ketterle, for their discovery of a new form of matter, a Bose-Einstein condensate. In recent years, Wieman has been widely recognized for his efforts to improve undergraduate physics education, including curricula development and research into learning processes.
One outgrowth of his work is the Physics Education Technology Project (PhET) at the University of Colorado, which provides JAVA-based applets for highly interactive simulations that help students make connections between real-life phenomena and the underlying science, deepening their understanding and appreciation of the physical world. See http://phet.colorado.edu/
Wieman earned his B.S. in physics from MIT in 1973 and his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1977.
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