2017 Home Banner Smaller

Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman Visited LMU on September 6, 2017

How Should We Evaluate Teaching?

Evaluating teaching in a way that everyone perceives as fair is challenging. On Nov. 29th, 2017, a panel of experienced LMU professors who have studied the literature on evaluation of teaching described some of the methods that are most commonly used and their limitations. Recent research on student evaluations of teaching (SETs) was discussed, and some results of a recent survey of LMU faculty on SETs and their use at LMU was also presented. Those who attended participated in an open discussion of this important matter.


  • Suzanne Larson, Mathematics
  • Susie McDaniel, Communication
  • Vince Coletta, CTE director and Physics

Carl Wieman's Visit to LMU

The CTE sponsored a visit by Nobel Laureate and distinguished educational researcher Carl Wieman, who gave a talk to the LMU faculty, in which he described pedagogical methods based on cognitive psychology and learning sciences, and proposed a new way to evaluate teaching effectiveness. Professor Wieman received the Nobel Prize in physics in 2001 for creating an incredible new state of matter, the Bose-Einstein condensate, predicted long ago by Albert Einstein. He was named US Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation in 2004. Carl used his Nobel Prize money to create the PHET website, which provides simulations in physics and other fields, and has 100 million views annually.

In 2007 the U. of British Columbia provided him with ten million dollars to transform the teaching practices in their STEM departments. In 2010 he served as Assistant Secretary of Education in the Obama administration. Since 2013 Carl has been at Stanford, where he is a Professor in the Physics Dept. and in the Graduate School of Education. His book Improving How Universities Teach Science was published in May by Harvard Press. Copies are available to borrow from the CTE. To do so, contact the CTE at teachers@lmu.edu.