Rochester Institute of Technology

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Mission and Goals

The mission of the Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation (CCRG) is to advance knowledge and discovery at the frontiers of relativistic astrophysics, gravitational physics, and cosmology, while pursuing new exciting research directions, in connection with new experiments and observations.

As part of an interdisciplinary signature research program, the center is currently sponsoring new research at Frontiers in Gravitational Wave Astrophysics (FGWA), to pursue new research goals in multi-messenger astrophysics and gravitational-wave observations. Through the FGWA, the center is sponsoring several signature postdoctoral fellowships, and visiting scholarships for scientists and students to wish to work on research programs at the center. Follow our research menu tab for an overview on our research programs.

With LIGO now fully operational and the detection of gravitational-wave now a reality, we expect that there will be a surge in the number of new researchers interested in performing simulations of compact binary mergers in support of multimessenger observational programs.  Therefore at CCRG, we are engage in the development and use of the most advanced mathematical, numerical and data analysis techniques through the use of high-performance computation. The center hosts and manages several large computer clusters. 

An important goal of our center is to train graduate students in physics, astrophysics, applied mathematics, and computer science.  It also promotes science and science education for undergraduate research students. The center is participating in several NSF REU programs, including an REU in multimessenger astronomy, and is actively engaged in supporting underrepresented deaf and hard-of-hearing communities with RIT's National Institute for the Deaf (NTID) institute.

While we work in advancing and supporting research and education in our core areas, we also emphasize interdisciplinary connections with other astrophysical and physical science disciplines, applied math, computer science, engineering, materials science, data science and statistics areas. Therefore, the CCRG includes faculty, postdoctoral researchers, and students across several colleges, schools and departments at RIT, as well as affiliate researchers, and long-term visiting scientists.

Finally, the entire CCRG team is engaged in several educational and outreach programs with multiple exhibits at annual Imagine RIT festivals, which attract over 30,000 visitors each year. Our scientific visualizations and videos are regularly used as show case of our research activities in these exhibits, other activities and at the physical location of the center. Follow our video media menu tab for a view on these videos. Center's member also participate in the Rochester's Science Cafe, whose mission is to give members of the local community the opportunity to engage in down-to-earth discussions with practicing scientists, and engages in collaborations with artists and performers locally and worldwide. Two examples of art-science collaboration are the Astrodance and Portal projects.

Organizational Structure

The CCRG is an RIT's Signature Interdisciplinary Research Areas (SIRA) and an RIT's Center of Excellence under the Office of the Vice-President of Research and Provost's Office. Originally founded in 2007, in the RIT's College of Science, CCRG also retained its denomination of a core COS Research Center.

The center is governed by a Director, supported by a Steering Committee of core faculty members, and an advisory board. The center also operates the state-of-the-art laboratories in high-performance computation and visualization, and manages several externally funded projects and collaborations. The center is supported through a combination of external grants, gifts, SIRA funding and F&A return funds.

Some key historical notes of the CCRG are reported in the New Wave Astronomy article of the RIT research magazine (spring 2010) and in the University Magazine (spring 2010).