KSPA 2018

Kavli Summer Program In Astrophysics 2018:

The Astrophysics of Galaxy Formation 

Center for Computational Astrophysics, Flatiron Institute, June 25th-August 3rd, 2018


Galaxies are excellent laboratories for computational astrophysics, as they lie at the nexus of the “small scale” processes associated with stars and supermassive black holes, and those of large scale structure and cosmology. Moreover, galaxy formation simulations lie at the forefront of large scale computing and numerical methods, and the frontiers of galaxy formation are being probed by new observational facilities, including the soon-to-be-launched James Webb Space Telescope. Numerical modeling of galaxy formation promises a huge leap forward in predictive power if the community can incorporate physically motivated models of stellar and black hole feedback into larger scale simulations. This program will bring together leading scientists with expertise in topics relevant to galaxy formation across a wide range of scales and processes, including numerical techniques, star formation, AGN feedback, and large-scale structure. An additional focus will be on making links between computation, theory, and observations, in particular predictions relevant for the upcoming launch of JWST.

The program will be hosted at the Center for Computational Astrophysics at the Flatiron Institute in New York city, and directed by Rachel Somerville (Rutgers/CCA) and Greg Bryan (Columbia/CCA). The first week's lectures will be given by Romeel Davé (University of Edinburgh), Priya Natarajan (Yale University), Eve Ostriker (Princeton University) and Romain Teyssier (University of Zurich).  Subsequent weeks will allow graduate students, postdocs, and faculty to collaborate on addressing some of the key outstanding puzzles in the field. 

To apply to the program as a student or senior participant (postdoc or faculty) please use our online application forms.




Romeel Davé holds the Chair of Physics at the University of Edinburgh. He is a a theoretical astrophysicist who uses large-scale hydrodynamic simulations and analytic models to understand how galaxies and intergalactic gas evolve from the early universe until today. His current work focuses mostly on understanding the physics driving the baryon cycle, and using multi-wavelength techniques to study the Epoch of Reionisation.

Priyamvada Natarajan is a Professor in the Departments of Astronomy & Physics at Yale University. Priya is a theoretical astrophysicist whose research interests include the formation channels and fueling of seed black holes at high redshift; tracing the growth history of supermassive and ultra-massive black holes over cosmic time; and probing the nature of dark matter via gravitational lensing studies of galaxy clusters and confronting lens mapping from observations with cosmological predictions of the structure formation models.

Eve Ostriker is a Professor of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University. Ostriker's research is in the area of theoretical and computational astrophysics. Her main scientific interests are in the processes of star formation, the physics of the interstellar medium, and the structure and evolution of galaxies. She is active in developing numerical methods and tools for computational fluid dynamics.

Romain Teyssier is a Professor in Computational Astrophysics at the University of Zürich. Romain is a theoretical astrophysicist with interest in cosmology, galaxy formation and star formation. He is the main author of the RAMSES code and a member of the Euclid Consortium.


 Scientific Program


Scientific Organizing Committee

  • Greg Bryan (program co-director), (Columbia / CCA)
  • Rachel Somerville (program co-director), (Rutgers / CCA)
  • James Bullock (UC Irvine)
  • Pascale Garaud (UC Santa Cruz)
  • Shy Genel (CCA)
  • Chris Hayward (CCA)
  • Jennifer Lotz (Space Telescope Science Institute)
  • David Spergel (Princeton/CCA)
  • Stephanie Tonnesen (CCA)


Program LOC


Program Supported By

The Kavli Foundation

The Simons Foundation