Tom Hands


Welcome! I'm a scientist and programmer, and I'm into numerical methods, optimisation, machine-learning, video games and a whole bunch of other stuff. My most recent project is the game "Cat Herders: Couch Coop Cat Corralling!", a couch coop game about... herding cats. Check out the trailer below, or have a look at the Steam page!

I was previously a post-doc at the University of Zurich in Ravit Helled's group at the Institute for Computational Science. I studied the assembly of planetary systems embedded in protoplanetary discs, as well as a variety of numerical techniques and dynamics. I completed my PhD in 2016 at the University of Leicester under the supervision of Dr. Richard Alexander.
I also have an interest in data visualisation. You can find me on twitter here. If you are looking for my exoplanet visualisation video, you can see the updated 2021 version below.

If you will look closely in the background you will observe a toy N-body integrator, running in real-time, written in Javascript and rendering to a HTML 5 canvas. This is currently actively modelling the gravitational interaction between 3 bodies, which are trapped in a figure-of-8 orbit with one another. Please examine the control options at the bottom of this page to interact with this simulation! If you're interested in going further down the browser-simulation rabbit hole, I've also made some preliminary progress on a browser-based SPH (Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics) code, written in DART. You can see a test simulation of a gas cloud falling onto a binary here.