Distinguished Professor Carl Wieman of the University of Colorado at Boulder has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate as associate director for science in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
The Nobel laureate "is expected to spearhead the administration's push to improve science education, drawing upon his pioneering work at the University of Colorado, Boulder, to strengthen the undergraduate training of science and math teachers" according to the online news site of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Wieman was confirmed on Sept. 16. While serving in Washington, he will be on leave of absence from CU-Boulder and the University of British Columbia.
Wieman shared the Nobel Prize in physics in 2001 for creating a new form of matter called Bose-Einstein condensate and has been widely recognized since that time for his efforts to improve undergraduate education in science, technology, engineering and math. He used part of his Nobel Prize award to launch CU's PhET Interactive Simulations project that provides online, interactive instruction in science and mathematics at phet.colorado.edu.
Wieman is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Education and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a fellow and former chairman of JILA, a joint institute of CU-Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
In 2004, Wieman was named Professor of the Year among all doctoral and research universities in the United States by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Among Wieman's numerous other awards are the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics, the King Faisal International Prize for Science, the Arthur L. Schawlow Prize in Laser Science and the Richtmyer Lecture Award from the American Association of Physics Teachers.
A link to his appointment in the Congressional Record is available by clicking on "confirmations" at thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/R?r111:FLD001:S57180,S57186. A link to the news release announcing President Obama's nomination of Wieman is available at www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/president-obama-announces-more-key-administration-posts-32210.