Numerical simulations on supercomputers play an ever more important role in astrophysics. They have become the tool of choice to predict the non-linear outcome of the initial conditions left behind by the Big Bang, providing crucial tests of cosmological theories. However, the problem of galaxy and star formation confronts us with a staggering multi-physics complexity and an enormous dynamic range that severely challenges existing numerical methods. In my talk, I review current strategies to address these problems, focusing on recent developments in the field such as hierarchical time integration schemes, improved particle- and mesh-based hydrodynamical solvers, and novel parallelization schemes.
Volker Springel became professor for Theoretical Astrophysics at Heidelberg University in 2010, where he now leads a research group at the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS). Springel previously was a group leader in computational cosmology at the Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics in Garching, after working as a postdoctoral researcher at the Harvard Center for Astrophysics in the United States. He received his PhD in 2000 from the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich, after studying physics at the University of Tübingen and the University of California, Berkeley.