Visit to DIT by Nobel Laureate, Dr. Carl Wieman

Story Carl Wieman

Nobel Laureate, Dr. Carl Wieman, visited DIT on Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 May to deliver three lectures to invited audiences. Dr. Wieman is renowned as a physicist, and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2001 for the creation of Bose-Einstein condensation. However, he is also renowned as a pioneer in the area of learning and teaching, with a passion for developing new and better ways to teach science so that students learn more easily and also learn more.

Dr. Wieman founded the very successful science education initiative at the University of Colorado. Building on that success, he was invited to set up the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative at the University of British Columbia in 2007. These initiatives are aimed at achieving ‘sustainable improvement in undergraduate science education’ and his primary focus is on science education, but his methodology is of interest to academics teaching undergraduates in all disciplines. According to Dr. Wieman, ‘Research from cognitive psychology and higher education science class rooms has demonstrated much more effective ways to educate and assess today’s students.’  He will speak about these findings and give examples of its success in his lectures at DIT.

Dr. Wieman gave three lectures during his visit.  The first was directed primarily at an invited audience of secondary school teachers of science and career guidance counsellors; in the second he addressed academics in the science and engineering disciplines in DIT and other institutions; and in the final lecture, he spoke to academics from all disciplines, as well as heads of institutions and other administrators. 

Professor Brian Norton, President of DIT, said it was a great honour for DIT to welcome Dr. Wieman and he looked forward to hearing him speak about his initiatives.  “All of us who are concerned with enhancing undergraduate education, particularly in science and technology, will be very interested in attending these lectures.  In DIT our School of Physics is part of an international network of Physics Education Research groups which are undertaking innovative programs of re-engineering undergraduate education. Dr. Wieman’s initiative in the University of Colarado is also part of this network, so we have common interests and this will be a great opportunity for colleagues in DIT to hear how his work is progressing.”

Professor Norton said DIT was especially glad to host the visit as part of the calendar of events marking PRTLI10.  The full schedule, and a synopsis of the lecture topics, is available here

To read a little more about this distinguished visitor to DIT click here for his short biography or see the website of the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative at

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