I’m Alex Gurvich, a graduate student in Astronomy at Northwestern University working in the galaxy formation group with Claude-André Faucher-Giguère. My research is focused on using the FIRE simulations to understand the connection between supernovae and other forms of stellar feedback and how they regulate star formation both by generating turbulence in the interstellar medium and by launching massive galactic outflows. I am currently investigating the source of bursty star formation in new high resolution simulations of Milky Way-like galaxies.

As part of a science communication workshop I took part in, I recorded a video of me talking about my research– you can check it out below.


I’m also interested in both the development and analysis of numerical simulations of all kinds. My previous research includes generating images of gravitational lensing using simulation software at Carnegie Mellon and investigating the Lyman-α forest in the Illustris galaxy formation simulation as part of an REU program at the Harvard Center for Astrophysics. I have attended a number of workshops on High Performance Computing and am particularly interested in leveraging new accelerated and “manycore” computing resources, like Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) and the Intel Xeon Phis.

Outreach is very important to me as well. I staff the Space Visualization Lab at the Adler Planetarium for their Astronomy Conversations program, where professional astronomers use unique visualization resources to engage the general public. I’ve also been developing a new visualization platform to use to convey my research to a broad range of audiences, Firefly. You can try a prototype version of Firefly here, at my git repository.

I also spend a lot of time organizing (and sometimes delivering) public lectures for Chicago’s branch of Astronomy on Tap and for CIERA Astronomer Evenings at Dearborn Observatory. I regularly volunteer to run the Dearborn Telescope for weekly public observing sessions and I have taught an after school class on stellar evolution at a local middle school as part of the district’s Science Olympiad.

If you have any questions about what I do or would just like to get in touch, feel free to shoot me an email or drop by my office.