KSPA 2017

Kavli Summer Program in Astrophysics 2017:

Astrophysics with gravitational wave detections 

Copenhagen Niels Bohr Institute, July 10th-August 18th, 2017


In February of 2016, the LIGO observatory announced the first detection of gravitational waves from the merger of a pair of black holes.  This has been followed by another detection and a third candidate binary black hole merger.

The 2017 program focussed on the scientific ramifications of these gravitational wave detections. Key questions included how gravitational wave observations can improve our understanding of binary stellar evolution and the origin of compact objects.

The program was hosted at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, and directed by Ilya Mandel (Birmingham) and Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz (UC Santa Cruz). The first week's lectures was given by Will Farr (Birmingham), Cole Miller (Maryland), and Deirdre Shoemaker (Georgia Tech).  Subsequent weeks allowed graduate students, postdocs, and faculty to collaborate on addressing some of the key outstanding puzzles in the field of gravitational-wave astrophysics.




Will Farr  is a Lecturer at Institute of Gravitational-Wave Astronomy at the University of Birmingham. Will is a theoretical astrophysicist with interests in astrostatistics, the gravitational dynamics of exoplanets and dense stellar systems, gravitational waves, compact object evolution, computational astrophysics, and general relativity.

Deirdre Shoemaker  is a Professor at the Center for Relativistic Astrophysics at Georgia Tech. Deirdre is a numerical relativist who has developed and used computational tools to contribute to the understanding of astrophysics in strong-gravity environments.

Cole Miller is a Professor of Astronomy and Graduate Director at the University of Maryland, College Park. Cole’s work has explored a large variety of high-energy processes associated with neutron stars and black holes, from intermediate mass black holes and gravitational-wave sources to neutron star thermal emission.


 Scientific Program


Scientific Organizing Committee

  • Ilya Mandel (program co-director), University of Birmingham
  • Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz (program co-director), UC Santa Cruz
  • Duncan Brown, Syracuse University
  • Gabriela Gonzalez, Louisiana State University
  • Daniel Holz, University of Chicago
  • Jens Hjorth (Neils Bohr Institute)
  • Selma de Mink, University of Amsterdam


Program LOC


Program Supported by

The Kavli Foundation

Danish National Research Foundation

The Niels Bohr International Academy

DARK Cosmology Centre