Collaborative Research: CDS&E: Renaissance Simulations Laboratory to Model and Explore the First Galaxies in the Universe

Time Frame


Total Funding to Date



  • Matthew Turk

A great challenge in astrophysics is to understand in detail how the initial smooth distribution of matter in the early Universe formed the first galaxies. Complementing observations of real galaxies, researchers use computational simulations to model the early Universe and study the results. This process allows one to learn how these first galaxies might have formed. However, the sheer size and complexity of such galaxy simulations present their own challenge as a single research group lacks the capacity to explore them fully. As a result, maximizing the scientific value of simulations demands new tools and services designed to foster the growth of a collaborative, multi-group research community. This project aims to develop and use a new virtual laboratory to enable transformative scientific inquiry on new and existing galaxy simulations, some of which were produced by prior NSF support. Enabling public access and unrestricted analysis and fostering a collaborative environment for sharing technology and results will ensure that galaxy simulations continue to be valuable within and beyond the research group that originally conducted them. This project addresses the national imperative to develop US cyber infrastructure and to develop US leadership in scientific research in astrophysics.

galaxies and universe

Funding Agencies

  • National Science Foundation, 2016 – $171,469.00
Research Areas: