NEXSI is a new astrophysics science institute based at UCSC, a revolutionary concept that will transform the way astronomers use and exploit the next-generation of OIR facilities. Over the next decade, larger ground and space-based telescopes, with greater light grasp, adaptive optics-enabled resolution, and multiplex instruments, will enable astronomers to seek answers to some of the key scientific questions of our era - from the nature of the dark matter and dark energy to the formation and evolution of galaxies, stars, and planets. NEXSI is an interdisciplinary "think tank" organized for intensive research and solving of fundamental problems in the areas of cosmology, galactic and extragalactic astronomy, and star and planetary formation. It is a transformational idea dictated both by the elaborateness of astrophysical modeling and by the volume, flow rate, and cost of astronomical data. NEXSI will promote collaborations between astronomers, physicists, planetary scientists, mathematicians, and computer scientists from all over the world with the goal of maximizing the scientific return from a suite of new multi-billion dollar astronomical facilities. It will support research that makes use of sophisticated numerical simulations and elaborate modeling to guide the conception and design of new imaging and spectroscopic programs, and to increase the ability of astrophysicists to extract physical insight from their observational data. NEXSI will act as an intellectual incubator for tightly planned "legacy" observing programs on next generation telescopes, and as a "gateway" to extreme-scale simulations across all domains of computational astrophysics.

• 01/09/2012: Discover Magazine's Top 100 Stories of 2011, Computer builds a perfect galaxy

• 08/29/2011: UCSC Press Release, Astrophysicists report first simulation to create a Milky Way-like galaxy