computational thinking, carnegie mellon
Sponsored by
microsoft research
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  Seminar Series organized by Roger Dannenberg  
Tiziana Di Matteo ,
Associate Professor, Department of Physics
Carnegie Mellon University
Cosmological simulations

March 29, 2008, 2:30 p.m., 3305 Newell-Simon Hall
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Cosmology is the science that studies the Universe in its entirety. Over large distances the universe can be approximated as being homogeneous and isotropic and solutions to Einstein's field equations provide a clear description for its overall evolution. However the universe is filled with a rich hierarchy of structures, from planets and black holes to individual galaxies and groups to clusters of galaxies up to the largest scale filamentary superclusters. Many of the advances in our understanding of cosmic structure have come from direct computer modeling. In cosmology, we need to develop computer simulations that cover this vast dynamic range of spatial and time scales: we need to include the effect of gravitational fields generated by (dark matter in) superclusters of galaxies on the formation of galaxies, which in turn harbor gas that cools and makes stars and is being funneled into supermassive blackholes the size of the solar system. Computational cosmology, simulating the entire universe, represents perhaps the most challenging application of computational thinking. I will present recent and upcoming work towards this end.