Earlier Highlights (6)

In April 2005, Jun Makino and I released a major new version of our Art of Computational Science (ACS) software, ACS 1.2. We now have well over 1,000 pages of text, and a rich variety of stellar dynamics codes, using not only individual timestep schemes, but even individual algorithms, different for different bodies in the same N-body simulation.

Also in April, I held a one-day workshop on Visualization of Simulations in Dense Stellar Systems, titled MODEST-5d in the series of workshops organized within the MODEST framework. The discussions between astrophysicists and computer scientists were focused on the various ways to interface and partly integrate our simulation codes and visualization codes.

In March 2005, Walter Dehnen visited me, and introduced me to a surprising new type of N-body algorithm, by Siu A. Chin and C. R. Chen, which we implemented and tested. Jun Makino and I then developed an individual time step version of this algorithm (Integrator_cc).

<- In February 2005, the Kira Institute started a new activity, by the name of the yamaneko project. After having organized five summer schools during the period from 1998 to 2002, this is our first new initiative, which started in 2003.

In December 2004, I was honored to have a main-belt asteroid named after me: asteroid 17031 Piethut has a diameter of several miles and moves around the sun in an orbit with a semimajor axis of 2.4 AU, an eccentricity of 0.12 and an inclination of 8 degrees. For more information, see the asteroid archive of the planetary data system.

In November 2004, Jun Makino and I published GRAPE newsletter #6, in which we announce the formation of a GRAPE Users Group. We also present updates about various ongoing efforts to build hybrids between Micro-Grapes and Beowulf clusters, and we give the latest information about plans for the new GRAPE-DR.

<- In October 2004, Holger Baumgardt, Jun Makino and I showed what globular star clusters look like, when they harbour a central black hole of about a thousand solar masses. Contrary to what often has been assumed, the presence of such a black hole would not lead to a central spike in the starlight of a cluster, but rather produce a moderate-size core, with a size of about 10% of that of the half-mass radius. Our paper will be published in Astrophysical Journal, and is available in preprint form as astro-ph/0410597.

In September 2004, I started a series of conversations in interdisciplinary studies, informal gatherings in which the speakers engage in a conversation with the audience.While no prior knowledge about the main topic of a conversation is required from the audience, the meetings are meant to be of interest also for those who do have more specialist knowledge. The nature of the conversations will freely and frequently meander between the level of a popular talk and that of in-depth discussions.

In July 2004, I received a copy of The New Physics and Cosmology, ed.: A. Zajonc [Oxford University Press], which had just been published as a collection of dialogues between the Dalai Lama and a group of physicists, held in Dharamsala in 1997. Chapter 11 contains my presentation, Science in search of a Worldview and the discussion that was interwoven with it.