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Perspectives from the Assistant Director, Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences

The Current State of MPS

Optimization Challenge

March 16, 2017

For astronomers and astrophysicists, the name Jim Ulvestad isnt a new one since I have spent the past seven years as the Astronomical Sciences division director. Prior to that, I spent more than a decade each at the NSFs National Radio Astronomy Observatory and at NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

During my time in the assistant director chair, I am committed to ensuring we stay true to our mission of funding the best fundamental scientific research.

A change in administration in Washington inherently brings a feeling of uncertainty, but I remain hopeful at this juncture. The argument for the National Science Foundation and basic research have never been stronger. As we enter a period when more jobs have a scientific and technical component, the research that drives innovation is critical both to our economic development and to our human curiosity about the universe we live in. MPS will continue to support studies from the nano-scale to cosmic dimensions -- all in the service of the national interest.

I hope that a new assistant director for MPS will be named within the next few months. In the meantime, it is a pleasure to work with the variety of scientific communities that MPS serves, and I look forward to interacting with the many dedicated employees who serve both NSF and our MPS community of scientists.


I look forward to sharing more news periodically and welcome your emailed comments at:

Dr. James S. Ulvestad
NSF Assistant Director (Acting) for Mathematical and Physical Sciences

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