As assistant director for the Directorate of Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS), Fleming Crim leads a staff of nearly 180 and oversees an annual budget of $1.3 billion. MPS supports core research in astronomy, chemistry, physics, material science and mathematics.
Crim came to the National Science Foundation from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he has been the John E. Willard and Hilldale Professor in the Department of Chemistry and where his research group uses lasers to understand chemical reaction dynamics occurring in gases and in liquids.
He has lectured around the world and published more than 150 research articles. His research and teaching have earned many awards throughout his career, including the Plyler Prize of the American Physical Society, the Langmuir Award of the American Chemical Society, and the Centenary Medal of the Royal Society of Chemistry (London). He is an Honorary Fellow of the Chemical Research Society of India and an Honorary Professor of the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, American Chemical Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Crim is a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He received his doctorate from Cornell University and his bachelor's degree from Southwestern University.
Crim began his NSF appointment in January 2013. The scope of scientific and educational activity supported in MPS is enormous, ranging from phenomena at cosmological distances, to chemistry of life processes, through quantum mechanical processes in atomic and subatomic physics, to nanomaterials, to mathematics. MPS funds the operations and management of 14 major multi-user facilities, allowing thousands of scientists and students to press the bounds of scientific knowledge, and to invest in potential future projects needed to remain at the cutting-edge of research. MPS provides about 51 percent of the federal funding for basic research at academic institutions in the mathematical and physical sciences.