Organizing Committee

The Nobel-Prize-winning detection of gravitational waves from binary black hole systems in 2015 by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and the LIGO Scientific Collaboration has opened a new window on the universe. In addition, the 2017 observation of both gravitational and electromagnetic waves emitted by a binary neutron star system marked a new era of multi-messenger astronomy. While these successes are a remarkable experimental feat, they also constitute a significant computational achievement due to the crucial role played by accurate numerical models of the astrophysical sources in gravitational-wave data analysis. As current detectors are upgraded and new detectors come online within an international network of observatories, accurate, efficient, and advanced computational methods will be indispensable for interpreting the diversity of gravitational wave signals. This semester program at ICERM will emphasize the fundamental mathematical and computational challenges in computational relativity and gravitational-wave data science.

The aim of this semester program is to bring together pure and applied mathematicians, physicists, and statisticians with the goals of fostering an environment for in-depth collaboration and cross-pollination of ideas between these communities, working towards solving the most pressing mathematical modeling and numerical simulation issues facing the gravitational wave community, and cultivating new subfields within mathematics that focus on important, pressing issues related to gravitational waves as well as providing mathematicians with new questions and problems to explore.

The program's areas of focus will be: (i) mathematical and computational approaches for solving the source-free Einstein field equations (a nonlinear, coupled, hyperbolic-elliptic PDE system) including fundamental aspects of general relativity or alternative theories of gravity, (ii) mathematical and computational approaches for the Einstein field equations with matter and magnetic fields, as well as the multi-scale, multi-physics modeling challenges for such problems, and (iii) methods for the detection, classification, and Bayesian inference of relativistic objects and gravitational-wave datasets, especially by considering under-explored techniques such as machine learning or uncertainty quantification.

Image credit: Tia K Martineau

Confirmed Speakers & Participants

  • Speaker
  • Poster Presenter
  • Attendee
  • Daniel Appelö
    University of Colorado Boulder
    Sep 9-Dec 11, 2020
  • Stefanos Aretakis
    University of Toronto
    Oct 5-9, 2020
  • Thomas Baumgarte
    Bowdoin College
    Oct 26-30, 2020
  • Andreas Bauswein
    Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies
    Oct 26-30, 2020
  • Marc Casals
    Sep 9-Dec 11, 2020
  • Yingda Cheng
    Michigan State University
    Oct 5-9, 2020
  • Mihalis Dafermos
    Princeton University
    Oct 5-9, 2020
  • Claudia De Rham
    Imperial College London
    Oct 26-30, 2020
  • Marcelo Disconzi
    Vanderbilt University
    Oct 26-30, 2020
  • Kenneth Duru
    Australian National University
    Oct 5-9, 2020
  • Zachariah Etienne
    West Virginia University
    Oct 5-9, 2020
  • Scott Field
    University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
    Sep 9-Dec 11, 2020
  • Robert Fisher
    University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
    Sep 9-Dec 11, 2020
  • Francois Foucart
    University of New Hampshire
    Oct 26-30, 2020
  • Jonathan Gair
    University of Edinburgh
    Sep 9-Dec 11, 2020
  • Elena Giorgi
    Columbia University
    Oct 5-9, 2020
  • Tom Hagstrom
    Southern Methodist University
    Oct 5-9, 2020
  • Michael Holst
    University of California, San Diego
    Sep 9-Dec 11, 2020
  • Jae-Hun Jung
    SUNY Buffalo
    Sep 9-Dec 11, 2020
  • Gaurav Khanna
    University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
    Sep 9-Dec 11, 2020
  • Stephen Lau
    University of New Mexico
    Sep 9-Dec 11, 2020
  • Luis Lehner
    Perimeter Institute
    Sep 9-Dec 11, 2020
  • Jichun Li
    University of Nevada Las Vegas
    Sep 9-Dec 11, 2020
  • Steven Liebling
    Long Island University
    Sep 9-Dec 11, 2020
  • Lionel London
    MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research
    Sep 9-Dec 11, 2020
  • Jonathan Luk
    Stanford University
    Oct 5-9, 2020
  • Georgos Moschidis
    University of California, Berkeley
    Oct 26-30, 2020
  • Scott Noble
    The University of Tulsa
    Oct 26-30, 2020
  • Maria Okounkova
    California Institute of Technology
    Oct 5-9, 2020
  • Carlos Palenzuela
    Universitat de les Illes Balears
    Sep 9-Dec 11, 2020
  • Rosalba Perna
    Stony Brook University
    Oct 26-30, 2020
  • Harald Pfeiffer
    Albert-Einstein-Institute, Potsdam, Germany
    Oct 5-9, 2020
  • Richard Price
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Sep 9-Dec 11, 2020
  • David Radice
    Pennsylvania State University
    Oct 26-30, 2020
  • Deirdre Shoemaker
    Georgia Institute of Technology
    Oct 5-9, 2020
  • Chi-Wang Shu
    Brown University
    Sep 9-Dec 11, 2020
  • Jared Speck
    Vanderbilt University
    Sep 9-Dec 11, 2020
  • Barry Wardell
    University College Dublin
    Sep 9-Dec 11, 2020
  • Jeffrey Winicour
    University of Pittsburgh
    Sep 9-Dec 11, 2020
  • Helen Yee
    NASA Ames Research Center
    Sep 9-Dec 11, 2020

Visit dates listed on the participant list may be tentative and subject to change without notice.

Application Information

ICERM welcomes applications from faculty, postdocs, graduate students, industry scientists, and other researchers who wish to participate in one of our semester-long programs. Some funding may be available for travel and lodging. Applications will be accepted up until the start of the semester program and will be considered as long as funds and space are available.

Any graduate student who applies should have research interests that relate to the program topic; a statement of support from the advisor is required. In addition, graduate students will only be considered if they can remain in-residence for a minimum of six weeks.

Postdoctoral Fellowships

Interested in applying for a salaried postdoc position for this program? Applications are accepted via (search under “B” for Brown University/ICERM) between June and December in the year prior to the program’s start date.

Your Visit to ICERM

ICERM Facilities
ICERM is located on the 10th & 11th floors of 121 South Main Street in Providence, Rhode Island. ICERM's business hours are 8:30am - 5:00pm during this event. See our facilities page for more info about ICERM and Brown's available facilities.
Traveling to ICERM
ICERM is located at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Providence's T.F. Green Airport (15 minutes south) and Boston's Logan Airport (1 hour north) are the closest airports. Providence is also on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor. In-depth directions and transportation information are available on our travel page.
Visiting ICERM for longer than a week-long workshop? ICERM staff works with participants to locate accommodations that fit their needs. Since short-term furnished housing is in very high demand, take advantage of the housing options ICERM may recommend. Contact for more details.
Those traveling with family who are interested in information about childcare and/or schools should contact
Technology Resources
Wireless internet access and wireless printing is available for all ICERM visitors. Eduroam is available for members of participating institutions. Thin clients in all offices and common areas provide open access to a web browser, SSH terminal, and printing capability. See our Technology Resources page for setup instructions and to learn about all available technology.
Discrimination and Harassment Policy
ICERM is committed to creating a safe, professional, and welcoming environment that benefits from the diversity and experiences of all its participants. Both the Brown University "Code of Conduct" and the "Discrimination and Workplace Harassment Policy" apply to all ICERM participants and staff. Participants with concerns or requests for assistance on a discrimination or harassment issue should contact the ICERM Director, who is the responsible employee at ICERM under this policy.
Exploring Providence
Providence's world-renowned culinary scene provides ample options for lunch and dinner. Neighborhoods near campus, including College Hill Historic District, have many local attractions. Check out the map on our Explore Providence page to see what's near ICERM.

Visa Information

Contact for assistance.

Need a US Visa?
J-1 visa requested via ICERM staff
Eligible to be reimbursed
B-1 or Visa Waiver Business (WB) –if you already have either visa – contact ICERM staff for a visa specific invitation letter.
Ineligible to be reimbursed
B-2 or Visa Waiver Tourist (WT)
Already in the US?

F-1 and J-1 not sponsored by ICERM: obtain a letter approving reimbursement from the International Office of your home institution PRIOR to travel.

H-1B holders do not need letter of approval.

All other visas: alert ICERM staff immediately about your situation.

ICERM does not reimburse visa fees. This chart is to inform visitors whether the visa they enter the US on allows them to receive reimbursement for the items outlined in their invitation letter.

Financial Support

Acceptable Costs
  • 1 roundtrip between your home institute and ICERM
  • Flights on U.S. or E.U. airlines – economy class to either Providence airport (PVD) or Boston airport (BOS)
  • Ground Transportation to and from airports and ICERM.
Unacceptable Costs
  • Flights on non-U.S. or non-E.U. airlines
  • Flights on U.K. airlines
  • Seats in economy plus, business class, or first class
  • Change ticket fees of any kind
  • Multi-use bus passes
  • Meals or incidentals
Advance Approval Required
  • Personal car travel to ICERM from outside New England
  • Multiple-destination plane ticket; does not include layovers to reach ICERM
  • Arriving or departing from ICERM more than a day before or day after the program
  • Multiple trips to ICERM
  • Rental car to/from ICERM
  • Flights on a Swiss, Japanese, or Australian airlines
  • Arriving or departing from airport other than PVD/BOS or home institution's local airport
  • 2 one-way plane tickets to create a roundtrip (often purchased from Expedia, Orbitz, etc.)
Reimbursement Request Form

Refer to the back of your ID badge for more information. Checklists are available at the front desk.

Reimbursement Tips
  • Scanned original receipts are required for all expenses
  • Airfare receipt must show full itinerary and payment
  • ICERM does not offer per diem or meal reimbursement
  • Allowable mileage is reimbursed at prevailing IRS Business Rate and trip documented via pdf of Google Maps result
  • Keep all documentation until you receive your reimbursement!
Reimbursement Timing

6 - 8 weeks after all documentation is sent to ICERM. All reimbursement requests are reviewed by numerous central offices at Brown who may request additional documentation.

Reimbursement Deadline

Submissions must be received within 30 days of ICERM departure to avoid applicable taxes. Submissions after thirty days will incur applicable taxes. No submissions are accepted more than six months after the program end.

Associated Semester Workshops