Mexico School: "Galactic Dynamics in the Times of Gaia and other Great Surveys"

Hi all,

Here is the first announcement of the School on Galactic Dynamics we commented in our last ITN meeting in Bourdeaux. We have designed it to have the same format as the Besançon School but now well focussed on galactic dynamics. We think the school will be very interesting for all of you so do not hesitate to contact us for any question.


Francesca, Luis, Daisuke and Annie

	                  1st ANNOUNCEMENT

                     International Advanced School:
       "Galactic Dynamics in the Times of Gaia and other Great Surveys"

                 	UNAM, Mexico City-Mexico
                	November 3rd - 12th, 2013

                 	gaiaschoolmex at

We are pleased to announce a school on Galactic Dynamics
methods and techniques in the times of Gaia and large surveys,
to be held at the campus of UNAM in Mexico City, Mexico.

This is a school geared toward graduate students interested in
learning about modern approaches to Galactic Dynamics that
will be relevant in the era of Gaia.

		------------   MOTIVATION   ------------

Up to now our knowledge of the dynamics of our Galaxy has been limited
to a large extent to studies of the Solar Neighborhood and along a few
selected directions in the sky, which overall, represent a minuscle fraction of the stellar content and extent of the Galaxy. This has lead to the use
of idealized dynamical models fitted to the few observations we have,
and their extrapolation to fill in the Glaxy's "terra incognita".

However, the advent of large scale surveys of the stellar content of the
Galaxy, promises to revolutionize our knowledge of our Galaxy. The
Gaia spatial astrometric mission, to be launched at the end of this year, in particular, promises a vast trove of information never before attained because of its coverage, extent, homogeneity and precision: full astrometric information for about a thousand million stars down to magnitude (G) 20,
and even some spectral information for the brightest subset (down to
magnitude 17).

Such enormous database opens up new and exciting possibilities in the study of the structure of our Galaxy in general, and in that of the dynamics of our Galaxy in particular. The detailed phase space information for a significant fraction
of stars in the Galaxy brings new possibilities in the modeling of the
Milky Way.

The basic dynamical unit of collisionless systems like our Galaxy are not
particles in phase space, but orbits. Methods to build these systems,
like the original Schwarzschild method, or more recently "made to measure"
methods make evident this important role for orbits. Fourier methods
allow us to classify orbits in vast numbers and differentiate regular from irregular motion. Torus construction methods allow a complete characterization of systems shaped by regular orbits in 3-D action space, rather than the full
6-D phase space, retaining the essence of the dynamics of the system.
Advances in computational power and in the sophistication of numerical codes allow us to follow vast number of particles in model potentials (test particle simulations) and self-consistently (N-body simulations). In particular, in N-body simulations, collisionality has been reduced to the point where orbit extraction is possible. Complementing all of these, powerful numerical tools have been developed to create mock catalogues of large scale surveys. In the case of
Gaia, ithere are several codes that are being developed that permit the
construction of very realistic Gaia mock catalogues. These tools will allow us to explore "what if" situations and to confront observations with theory taking
into account the unavoidable bias and random observation errors.

Most of these methods, techniques and tools, do not form part (yet) of a standard graduate course in Galactic Dynamics, as they have been recently, or ar still being developed. However, they are very likely to have a growing
relevance in the dynamical sutdies of our Galaxy in the Gaia era.

			------------   GOAL   ------------

It is the goal of this school to introduce students to some of these new methods, techniques and tools to do research in the dynamics and structure of our Galaxy. No previous experience in these topics is needed, but a base knowledge of
Galactic Dynamics is required. This will be a "hands-on" school, where
lectures will be combined with computer labs to work out exercises that
illustrate the topics covered during the lectures. At the end, the students will develop small projects where they can incorporate what they have learned.

		  ------------   PROGRAMME   ------------

The school will consist of morning lectures and afternoon computer lab sessions.

The lecturers will present their material in a coordinated way, teaching
the basic concepts behind the methods, techniques and tools covered
in the school. The lecture sessions will be split in short 45-minute sessions, with plenty of time for the students to interact with the lecturers. During the afternoon sessions, the lecturers will introduce numerical exercises
designed to illustrate in a "hands-on" fashion the material covered in
the lectures. Towards the middle of the school, the students are expected to choose, or propose a project to develop. The last day of the school will
be in a "simposium" format, with the teams of students presenting their
project results.

The topics covered will be:
    * Introduction to Gaia mock catalogues
    * Basic Hamitlonian theory
    * Chaos vs. regularity: How to classify an orbit
    * Torus construction methods
    * Constraining the gavitational potential of the Galaxy
    * Dynamical effects of the non-axial components of the Galaxy
    * N-body modeling of the Milky Way disc
    * SPH modeling of the Milky Way disc

A core of databases, codes and numerical tools will be available to
download by the students prior to the start of the school. This is so
that the students can install and run verification examples to make
sure they have everything ready when they arrive for the school.

Every student is expected to bring his/her own laptop computer
with all the numerical tools that will be indicated later on. Free
WiFi with access to the internet will be provided in the classroom
and all work areas.

The school runs for 10 days, so that the students have time to
develop their projects.

		    ------------   LECTURERS   ------------

	* Luis A. Aguilar   (UNAM/Mexico)
	* Daniel D. Carpintero   (U. de la Plata/Argentina)
	* Francesca Figueras   (U. de Barcelona/ Spain)
	* Daisuke Kawata   (UCL/UK)
	* Paul McMillan   (Oxford/UK)
	* Barbara Pichardo   (UNAM/Mexico)
        * Annie Robin (Besançon/FR)
	* Justin Read   (U. of Surrey/UK)
	* Octavio Valenzuela   (UNAM/Mexico)

		         ------------   VENUE   ------------

The school will take place within tha main campus of the "Universidad
Nacional Autónoma de Mexico" (UNAM) in the south of Mexico city.
Specifically, it will be held at "Universum", a modern science museum
that belongs to UNAM. This is a very interesting part of Mexico city,
close to many areas of interest, including "Cuicuilco", the oldest
precolumbian village in the valley of Mexico, that was buried by the lava
of a volcaninc eruption.

		  ------------   REGISTRATION   ------------

40 participants will be selected to attend the school.
Applications are accepted until August 31st, 2013.
A first list of accepted participants will be published in the electronic
page of the event by mid August. A second, and final list of accepted
participants, will be published by mid September.
Application forms should be completed on-line
via our web-page:

		  ------------   SCHOOL FEE   ------------

A registration fee of $100.00 U.S. dollars will be charged to cover the cost of the use of the facilities, coffee breaks and various support and logistic

          ------------   FINANCIAL SUPPORT   ------------

Some financial support is available that ranges from a school fee waiver, to help with lodging and food costs, or even in some extraordinary cases, travel costs. Please indicate in the registration form if you need assistance. All financial support requests should be accompanied by a letter from the
student advisor supporting the case and explaining the reasons for the

	 ------------   FURTHER INFORMATION   ------------

More detailed information can be found at the school web page:


        ------------   ORGANIZING COMMITTEE   ------------

     Luis Aguilar (IAUNAM/México), Francesca Figueras (UB/Spain),
     Daisuke Kawata (UCL/UK), Barbara Pichardo (IAUNAM/México)
     and Octavio Valenzuela (IAUNAM/México).

Dra. Francesca Figueras
Dpt. Astronomia i Meteorologia
Universitat de Barcelona

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