"The Lives and Deaths of Star Clusters, and the Gravitational Waves They Make Along the Way"
The lives of massive star clusters are inevitably linked to the assembly and evolution of the galaxies they inhabit. While significant progress has been made over the past several decades at separately modeling both galaxy formation and the dynamics of collisional star clusters, the connection between the two remains poorly understood. In this talk, I will describe how we model dense star clusters, both analytically and numerically, and what motivates our typical choices of initial conditions. I will then describe a recent project to model clusters self-consistently from collapsing giant molecular clouds in an MHD simulation of a Milky Way-sized galaxy. Finally, I will connect these results to the binary black holes formed by isolated binaries and dense star clusters, including GW190412, a recently announced binary merger with unique masses and spins.