First Name
Last Name
Office Room
Hennings 403
Tel (Office)
(604) 822-2412
Research Groups

Bachelor's Degree
Brandon, 1980, Physics and Computer Science

Master's Degree
UBC, 1982, Physics

Doctoral Degree
UBC, 1986, Physics

Employment History

Research Associate, Cornell University, 1986-1988
Postdoctoral Fellow, Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, 1988-1991
Research Associate, University of Texas at Austin, 1991-1995
Associate Professor, University of Texas at Austin, 1995-1999
Professor, UBC, 1999-


Governor General's Gold Medal 1979
NSERC Postgraduate Fellowship 1986
Xanthoolous International Award for Research in Gravitational Physics, 1997
Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Fellow 1999-2017
Rutherford Memorial Medal - Physics, Royal Society of Canada, 2001
Doctor of Science (honoris causa), Brandon University, 2002
Canadian Association of Physicists - Centre de Recherches Prize in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics, 2003
Fellow, American Physical Society, 2003

Research Area
Theoretical Physics

Research Field
Relativity/Computational Physics


My primary research area is numerical relativity which focuses on the computational solution of Einstein's equations as well as the field equations for any matter sources that are coupled to the gravitational field. I am particularly interested in the application of numerical relatvity to fundamental problems in gravitational physics, as well as in the development of techniques and algorithms that can be used by the field as a whole.

One ongoing area of investigation concerns the nature of the black hole threshold in model problems of gravitational collapse.  Numerical calculations over the past two decades have revealed that this threshold is generically mathematically identical to certain types of phase transitions in statistical mechanical systems where, for example, the mass of the black hole that forms plays the role of an order parameter.  These calculations are very delicate and computationally taxing, so most have been done within the context of simplifying assumptions such as a demand of spherical symmetry.  Thus, at the current time, there is considerable interest within our group in extending these simplified studies to more general scenarios with reduced symmetry or, ideally, no imposed symmetry.

Other topics of recent interest include the collapse fo scalar matter to black holes and the nonlinear instablity of AdS spacetime with angular momenta, black hole formation in Randall-Sundrum II braneworlds, Type I critical phenomena in driven neutron star collapse, the use of the BSSN formalsm for calculating type II critical behaviour, and black hole formation in the context of ultrarelativistic particle collisions.