David E. Pritchard is the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics at MIT. He carried out pioneering experiments on the interaction of atoms with light that led to the creation of the field of atom optics. Professor Pritchard received his B.S. from California Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. from Harvard, working with Professor Daniel Kleppner, through his move to MIT. Pritchard joined the faculty of the Department of Physics in 1970. At MIT, Professor Pritchard mentored four students who won national thesis prizes and three people who won the Nobel Prizes for slowing and cooling atoms and for achieving Bose-Einstein condensation. Professor Pritchard has many honors, including the IUPAP prize for precision metrology. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Professor Pritchard currently focuses his research on how to help students learn better, especially from online courses. He has contributed a great deal to creating tools and pedagogy to teach physics. He is the creator of MasteringPhysics.com, and teaches a MOOC on introductory mechanics on edX.