Applied Galactic Dynamics

Summer School

June 28 – August 13 2021

Center for Computational Astrophysics

Flatiron Institute, NYC

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Unfortunately, due to uncertainties related to international travel, this year's summer school will be restricted to students who are currently in the United States.


It’s an exciting time to be a Galactic dynamicist!

The Applied Galactic Dynamics School is all about connections: connecting dynamical models and the vast data sets now available; connecting junior and senior astronomers to pool their expertise and enthusiasm; and, in particular, connecting the next generation of dynamicists to exciting tools, methods, and data sets that will empower them to shape the future of Galactic dynamics.

During this Summer School at the CCA, we will nurture these connections with the aim of making progress on outstanding problems in galaxy formation and the distribution and nature of dark matter.

Galactic Observations outline a Milky Way full of activity on all scales, from the microscopic to the macroscopic: from phase-space substructure in the local volume around the Sun, to vertical waves coursing through the Galactic disk, to remnants of ancient dwarf galaxies in the inner halo, and to stellar debris streams tracing mass in the dark matter halo.

Dynamics Theory builds upon classic graduate texts on Galactic Dynamics, linear and nonlinear dynamical calculations, and fully self-consistent numerical simulations to provide comprehensive intuitive physical explanations of the observations as well as predictions for future surveys.

The multi-layered and multiplicative nature of the underlying gravitational actions and reactions means that clear, quantitative interpretations of the observations remain challenging. The promise in the richness of the data sets motivates us to build on fundamental theoretical work to tackle the difficulties.

This is the challenge for our field today.


The Applied Galactic Dynamics School will start with publicly-available lectures on galactic dynamics fundamentals, discussions about the lecture material, and hands-on tutorials that explore available data sets and tools (June 28–July 9). The subsequent weeks (July 12–August 13) will be devoted to individual research projects. During the projects, there will be regular group meetings and plenty of informal gatherings to foster cross-project connections and make use of the expertise present at the School.

Code of Conduct

All mentors and attendees are expected to follow the Flatiron Institute Code of Conduct.

COVID-19 Protocols

Dated: 2021-04-12     —     We are currently planning to have students attend the school in person and live in NYC for the duration of the school (from one week before the school start through the end, June 21–August 14). We will follow CDC guidelines for protocols for both travel and in-person gatherings. As such, we currently anticipate that all students will be provided shared office space and will be able to have small in person group meetings with mentors. As or if CDC guidelines change, we will communicate to the participants any relevant changes to the school format or procedures. We will strongly encourage all accepted students to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine before attending.

Mentors and Lecturers


Unfortunately, due to uncertainties related to international travel, this year's summer school will be restricted to students who are currently in the United States. We invite graduate students in all fields of Galactic and Extragalactic Astronomy and Dynamics who are currently in the US to apply. We are particularly interested in students who are enthusiastic about exploring dynamical territories outside their current expertise, or who are interested in extending their experience in Galactic Dynamics from a related research field.

We are committed to working to provide a lively yet supportive working environment for students from diverse backgrounds and with diverse approaches to research. Applicants are required to read and agree to our code of conduct prior to applying.

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Support for Participants

Support for students includes roundtrip airfare and accommodations for all weeks of the school. Students are expected to be present in New York for all weeks of the school.


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