Columbia University**

Columbia is an invigorating place to be an astronomer, astrophysicist or cosmologist. We enjoy the intellectual vibrancy that follows from the diverse nature of our research programs. We sit at the nexus of an explosion of astronomical research in the Tri-State area. We have forged a Big Apple community with our colleagues at Barnard, AMNH, the City University of New York (CUNY), New York University (NYU), and the Flatiron Institute Center for Computational Astrophysics (CCA).  Researchers in the Departments of Astronomy (  and Physics ( at Columbia work on a variety of topics related to core science goals of LSST:

  • Columbia astronomers and physicists are involved in all aspects of multi-messenger gravitational wave astrophysics, ranging from experimental efforts within LIGO to theoretical work focused on LIGO/LISA/PTA sources and their associated optical transient counterparts. (Haiman, Levin, May, Marka, Metzger, Paerels)
  • We have pioneers in the use of time-series data and machine learning to detect planets and extract fundamental planetary and stellar properties (Agüeros, Angus, Kipping, Ness, Oppenheimer).  
  • We have long-standing interests in the nature of transient sources produced by novae and supernovae (Helfand, Metzger, Patterson, Shara, Sironi, Sokoloski).
  • We study Galaxy formation, interactions and evolution, Stellar Populations, the Milky Way and the Local Group (Bryan, Johnston, Mac Low, Ostriker, Putman, Shiminovich, van Gorkom)
  • We have researchers exploring the growth of supermassive black holes at galactic centers (Bryan, Haiman, Halpern, Sironi).  
  • Our members are forging new approaches to analyze weak lensing data for insights into cosmology (Haiman, Hill, Hui, May).

At Columbia there are copious opportunities to present your work, learn from others, and forge collaborations. Columbia Astronomy and Physics hold seminars and colloquia, informal talks and paper discussion, as well as workshops and other meetings resulting in frequent national and international visitors, many of them prominent leaders in astronomy.  We have active Outreach programs for our NYC neighbors. There are 15-20 postdocs in Astronomy and Astrophysics at Columbia at present. Mentorship is a priority, with a faculty member specifically assigned to support the postdoc community. In a recent three years period, 13 postdocs from our program were hired into faculty positions.  We would be delighted to welcome an LSSTC Catalyst Fellow to join us. 

**Any new LSSTC Catalyst Fellowship offer for Columbia will only have a two year term because a successful applicant from the first application cycle has been offered a place at Columbia starting in 2025-2026.
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