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Nobel Laureate Joins Board of Directors



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PHOENIX (Sept. 18, 2013) – Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) announced the addition of Nobel Prize winner and Stanford University professor of physics and education, Carl E. Wieman, to its prestigious board of directors. Wieman was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2001 and will bring a vast amount of knowledge and experience to the board, especially in the area of improving the undergraduate teaching of science and math.

At Stanford, Wieman works with other researchers in studying strategies for more effective science education, encompassing cognitive, social, and psychological issues. Prior to his position at Stanford, he spent two years as deputy director of science and technology for the Obama administration. Prior to that he founded and directed the Science Education Initiatives at the University of Colorado, and the University of British Columbia. These initiatives implemented large-scale innovations and improvements in the teaching of undergraduate math and science courses.

“The addition of Carl to the SFAz board is a great honor,” said Donald V. Budinger, chairman of the SFAz board. “We are encouraged by the knowledge and expertise he will bring to our board as we embark on our effort with Arizona’s three state research universities to properly prepare teachers to better engage students and provide more positive educational outcomes.”

For more than 40 years, Wieman has built his knowledge of science through education and experimentation. He has been involved for many years in efforts to improve undergraduate science education and has turned all his focus toward that work. He has served as chair of the board on Science Education of the National Academy of Sciences, and in 2002, he founded PhET, a nonprofit educational resource project which is a web-based directive of University of Colorado. It provides an extensive suite of simulations to improve the way that physics, chemistry, biology, earth science and

math are taught and learned. Through the project’s interactive simulations, which are now used more than 40 million times a year by students of all ages, Wieman hopes to make science more understandable, useful and interesting.

“I am honored to join the SFAz board and have the opportunity work with a team of experts who share my passion and determination to improve science and math education for undergraduate students,” said Wieman.

In addition to his Nobel Prize in Physics, which he received for fundamental studies of the Bose-Einstein condensate, he has received many other prestigious awards, including being named United States Professor of the Year in 2004 among all doctoral and research universities for his teaching activities.

Wieman earned his Bachelor of Science degree in 1973 from MIT, his Ph.D. in 1977 from Stanford University and has several honorary degrees.

The SFAz board of directors is comprised of distinguished and respected leaders from Arizona, highly talented experts in academia, research and development as well as domestic and international business leaders. Wieman will join the existing board members Craig Barrett, Donald Budinger, Fred Boice, Jaime Casap, Alastair Glass, William Harris, Anita Jones, Lisa Keegan, Ira Levin, Robert Millis, Gary Jones and Martina Newell-McGloughlin. For more information about the SFAz board of directors visit

About Science Foundation Arizona

Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization initiated in 2006 by the Greater Phoenix Leadership Inc., Southern Arizona Leadership Council and the Flagstaff Forty in conjunction with the executive and legislative branches of state government. SFAz serves as a catalyst for high-wage, knowledge-based jobs and economic diversity through administration and strict oversight of research, development and education grants to public education and other non-profit research performing institutions. For more information, visit

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