Carl Wieman was named a recipient of the 2020 Yidan Prize, the world’s largest prize in education. Wieman will receive approximately $4 million in recognition of his work. Wieman is a professor in the Graduate School of Education and the Department of Physics in the School of Humanities and Sciences and holds the DRC chair at the School of Engineering. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2001 for his work in the field of atomic physics.
“I am thrilled and honored to be recognized with this award,” said Wieman. “It is wonderful to receive this recognition of my work, although really it is the recognition of the work of my wonderful students and postdocs over the years.”
Wieman’s passion for education research grew out of his work in physics, as he sought to understand how his own students learned and developed into scientists. “For many years, I had two parallel research programs,” said Wieman. “One was in atomic physics, blasting atoms with lasers to see how they’d behave. The other was studying how people learn to think about physics and finding better ways to teach them.”
Wieman plans to use the Yidan prize money to support and enhance the PhET project, which has seen a major surge in demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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