MODEST is a long existing project. Quoting from that website:
MODEST is a loosely knit initiative of various groups working in stellar dynamics, stellar evolution, and stellar hydrodynamics. Our aim is to provide a software framework for large-scale simulations of dense stellar systems, within which existing codes for dynamics, stellar evolution, and hydrodynamics can be easily coupled. While many of us have talked for years about combining `live' stellar evolution codes directly with N-body simulations, we have now reached a consensus between various groups about standards and interfaces, what is needed, and what is doable....
The goal of this wiki and the associated workshop in Second Life is, perhaps, if anything less modest than the stated goals of MODEST! We seek to nucleate a community of not only researchers, but also educators, students, and even the interested public to build an ongoing effort that will both push the frontiers of research as well as provide a rich educational environment for people who want to learn the field and get up to speed in the field. Our goal is for this wiki to become a living document where people continue to add techniques, results, codes, and so forth.
We also have a specific interest in using the relatively new technology of virtual worlds (VW) such as Second Life to help push our agenda forward. Virtual Worlds are a great place to meet and collaborate with people. No, it's not as good as meeting in person, but it's better than nothing. It has advantages over asynchronous e-mail communication, and people who've used it have, once they've learned it, found that you feel much more "present" than you do in a phone conference.
We have two specific goals in mind for virtual worlds:
- Using it as a collaboration platform where we can meet, have seminars, discuss plans and ideas with each other, share knowledge, and educate students, and
- Use it as a platform for real-time visualization of simulations.
There is a lot of development to be done in both areas!
There is a mailing list for the group, email@example.com. NOTE: this mailing list may change!
We hold workshops in Second Life on Thursday mornings at 7AM PDT (14:00 UT) in the MICA Building in StellaNova.
MICA & KIRA
MICA is an acronym for Meta Institute for Computational Astrophysics.
The main goal of the MICA Institute is to exploit the web and virtual reality to make people interested in a Laboratory for Computational Astrophysics.
People are welcome to contribute, ranging from just curious and interested in science to professional researchers.
A more precise statement of the MICA target is found at its main web page.
The animating principle of the MICA people is to grow Open Knowledge and it is beautifully clarified in the Manifesto of ACS, the Art of Computational Science, a web resource that collects some of the understanding on Computational Astrophysics.
A powerful tool developed during many years by some of the professional researchers now involved in MICA is StarLab.
Other resources are found at the following links :
According to the proposal by Piet Hut, one of the MICA directors, this Wiki page would
provide a complete open-source description of our algorithms and their implementations, together with elementary introductions to the mathematics and physics of Newtonian gravity, and numerical methods used to solve the differential equations that correspond to Newton's laws.
The basic idea is to start a kind of N-body wikipedia, as a group's process. It should be self contained, a place to gather all the basic information that is currently missing from the literature. Up till now, if you want to write a decent N-body code from scratch, you have to somehow catch the oral knowledge that is floating around in the community, most of which has never been written down. We want to change that.