"Think Globally Act Locally: overcoming the multiscale challenge of modeling galaxy formation"
Understanding how galaxies form and evolve in a cosmological context is one of the grand challenges in astrophysics. Galaxies are probes of cosmology, and are the hosts for stars, planets, interstellar gas, and black holes. Galaxies are shaped by the formation of large scale structure, driven on cosmological scales of Mpc and above, but may also be shaped by processes occurring on scales as much as nine orders of magnitude smaller, those of individual stars and supermassive black holes. Direct numerical simulation of the full suite of physical processes that shape galaxies over this range of scales will likely be intractable for the lifetime of everyone attending this talk. Therefore, we must develop new, computationally efficient yet physically grounded methods to overcome this challenge. I will present recent work by my group exploring several different approaches to multiscale modeling of galaxy formation, and applications including modeling cosmic reionization, creating mock observations for next generation UVOIR surveys, multitracer intensity mapping, and studies of the circumgalactic medium.