James Spillane is professor of human development and social policy, professor of learning sciences, and a faculty fellow at the Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University, where he teaches in both the learning sciences and human development and social policy graduate programs. He is director of the Multidisciplinary Program in Education Sciences. He is principal investigator of the Distributed Leadership Studies, which is undertaking an empirical investigation of the practice of school leadership in urban elementary schools that are working to improve mathematics, science, and literacy instruction. He is associate editor of Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis and serves on the editorial board of numerous journals. He is author of Standards Deviations: How Local Schools Misunderstand Policy (2004) and Distributed Leadership (2005). Recent articles have been published in the American Educational Research Journal, Cognition and Instruction, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, and Education Researcher, among others. A graduate of the National University of Ireland, he has a Ph.D. from Michigan State University (1993).
Carl Wieman is distinguished professor of physics at the University of Colorado and winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in physics for studies of the Bose-Einstein condensate. He has been a member of the National Academy of Sciences since 1995. His research has involved the use of lasers and atoms to explore fundamental problems in physics. His group has carried out a variety of precise laser spectroscopy measurements, including accurate measurements of parity nonconservation in atoms and the discovery of the anapole moment. He has received numerous honors and awards in addition to the Nobel, including the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics, the Schawlow Prize for Laser Science, and the R.W. Wood Prize. In addition to his research activities, he has been involved in innovations in undergraduate physics education and has given many presentations to high school classes and general audiences. He directs the physics education technology project, which creates online interactive simulations for learning physics, and he has developed a popular physics course for nonscientists. Since 2000 he has worked on the National Task Force for Undergraduate Physics, which emphasizes improving undergraduate physics programs as a whole. At the National Research Council, he is chair of the Board on Science Education, and was a member of the Committee on Undergraduate Science Education. His contributions to both research and education have been recognized by the Richtmyer Memorial Lecture Award of the American Association of Physics Teachers and the first Distinguished Teaching Scholar Award of the director of the National Science Foundation. He has a Ph.D. from Stanford University (1977).