Welcome

I'm an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto. I develop numerical methods to solve problems in astrophysics.


My main appointment is at the University of Toronto at Scarborough where I am a member of the Department for Physical and Environmental Sciences. My graduate appointments are at the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics and the Department of Physics. I'm also the director of the Centre for Planetary Sciences

I'm very interested in numerical methods, in particular N-body codes and integration methods for planetary systems. Other research interests include planet formation, stochastic processes, planet migration, celestial mechanics, Saturn's rings, hydrodynamics, code development and high performance computing.

Make sure to check out my REBOUND code. It is an open source N-body code which gives you access to the world's fastest and most accurate numerical integrators. You can do almost anything with it from long-term symplectic orbit integrations to collisional shearing-sheet simulations of Saturn's rings. The installation takes literally 30 seconds and it comes with an easy to use python interface. It's really cool and I'm very proud of it.

You also don't want to miss the Exoplanet App. It is a free smartphone application for the iPhone/iPad that I wrote. It let's you explore almost the entire universe, including the cosmic microwave background, galaxy clusters, our Milky Way, the Solar System and all discovered extra-solar planets. Several million people have downloaded it already!

If you like cycling, have you considered cycling to UTSC? It's really fun!

Some of the CPS faculty, postdocs and students. I'm in the back on the left, Aleksandar Rachkov and Rejean Leblanc are to the right of me, Ari Silburt and Dan Tamayo are sitting at the table. Photo by Ken Jones.

Research Group

Current Undergraduate students

  • Farasha Meem

Current PhD students

  • Rejean Leblanc
  • Garett Brown

Past PhD students

  • Ari Silburt (now a post-doctoral fellow at Penn State)

Past undergraduate and Master's students

Caden Armstrong, Bryce Bolin, Jade Checlair, Alice Chen, Chin Chen, Sunny Chen, Eric Dapp, Taylor Esch, Patrick Fraser, Hemani Kalucha, Shang-Fei Liu, Srivathsan Morkonda, Ekin Ozturk, Aleksandar Rachkov, Jasmeer Sangha, Vismay Shah, Pengshuai Shi, Natasha Urbancic, Trevor Vincent, Quentin Xue, Eric Yeung.

Collaborators

Past and present collaborators in alphabetical order:

Eugene Chiang, Eric Ford, Yuka Fujii, Willy Kley, Eiichiro Kokubo, Marc Kuchner, Henrik Latter, Zoe Leinhardt, Geoffroy Lesur, Shang-Fei Liu, Wladimir Lyra, Leonidas Moustakas, Gordon Ogilvie, Margaret Pan, John Papaloizou, David Spiegel, Dan Tamayo, Scott Tremaine, Dimitri Veras.

UTSC Observatory

I'm also in charge of the UTSC Observatory. Whether you would like to get involved in operating the telescope or only join us for one of the observing sessions, simply send me an e-mail or sign up for the observatory mailing list. All UTSC students, faculty and staff are welcome. We need very clear skies to see most objects other than the moon and the brightest planets. Therefore most observing sessions happen on short notice and will be announced via a mail.

Short academic curriculum vitae

Director
2017 - now, Centre for Planetary Sciences, University of Toronto
Assistant Professor
2013 - now, University of Toronto, Canada
Member at the Institute for Advanced Study
2010 - 2013, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, US
PhD, Doctor of Philosophy
2007 - 2010, University of Cambridge, DAMTP, England
Thesis: The effects of stochastic forces on the evolution of planetary systems and Saturn's rings
Supervisor: Professor John C. B. Papaloizou
MASt, Master of Advanced Study, Part III of the Mathemtical Tripos
2006 - 2007, University of Cambridge, DAMTP, England
With distinction
Exams: General Relativity, String Theory, Quantum Field Theory, Advanced Quantum Field Theory, Black Holes
Essay: Finite time singularities (with Stephen J. Cowley)
Undegratuate studies in both Mathematics and Physics
2003 - 2006, University of Tuebingen, Germany

Grants/awards

The Solar Walk at UTSC (2017)
Funded by: The UTSC Canada 150th Fund
UTSC Observatory grant (2015)
Funded by: The UTSC 50th Anniversary Fund
Connaught New Researcher Award (2014)
Funded by: The Connaught Fund
NSERC Discovery Grant (2014-2020)
Funded by: The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Exoplanet Smartphone App (2012)
Funded by: The Royal Astronomical Society, London
Principal investigator: Hanno Rein
Propellers, Frogs, and Random Walks (2012)
Funded by: NASA, ROSES-11, Outer Planets Research Program
Principal investigator: Eugene Chiang
Collaborators: Hanno Rein, Matthew Tiscareno, Margaret Pan