Letter from the Director

Welcome!  At the Candian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (CITA) we are committed to pushing the boundaries of human knowledge in astrophysics and training the next generation of boundary-breakers. CITA is the only national theory center for astrophysics in the world and was designed as a national center of excellence, to promote academic research within the astrophysics community across Canada, with collaborations on a national and international level. Our researchers investigate questions from all of astronomy and astrophysics, ranging from the early universe and big bang cosmology to galaxy formation, high-energy phenomena such as black holes, pulsars and supernovae, gravitational waves, and planet formation.

At CITA, we have a long tradition of testing theoretical ideas with observational experiments.  With the large number of exciting experiments happening globally, CITA is engaged with several large national and international projects, including SDSS-V,  CHIME/CHORD, Scintillometry, Herschel, Planck, and CCAT-p. Our research teams are involved from initial experimental design to the analysis and interpretation of resulting data.

In the span of roughly a quarter century, CITA has grown from its fledgling beginning of three faculty members and a few postdoctoral fellows to a faculty of seven, some thirty postdoctoral fellows in Toronto and appointed at other Canadian universities, and nearly twenty graduate students. Such tremendous growth is one measure of the success of CITA.

Another measure is the achievements of its postdoctoral program. Currently, over 132 former scholars hold tenured or tenure-track positions around the world. Twenty-three of these are in Canada, illustrating our leadership here at home.

Astrophysics ask questions of broad interest: Where does the Universe come from, what does it consist of, how old is it, and how large is it? Similarly, how are planets formed, how many stars have planets, and how many can support life? CITA is developing the theoretical and computational tools needed to answer these questions.

This research could not be done without the generous support of a wide range of organizations:  the University of Toronto, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and the governments of Ontario and of Canada and the Canadian Astronomical community, Ultimately, the citizens of Canada make possible our continuing efforts to carry out fundamental research. On behalf of all “CITA-zens” I would like to express our gratitude. We do this work together with your support and we thank you for valuing this fundamental endeavor to advance our understanding of the Universe in which we all live. We look forward to sharing new discoveries with you!

Juna A. Kollmeier