My research goals focus on modeling sources of gravitational waves using numerical relativity. Gravitational waves—ripples of spacetime curvature—are opening a new window on the universe. The Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (Advanced LIGO) has observed the first gravitational waves passing through Earth, which came from merging black holes. My students and I use supercomputers to simulate colliding black holes using the Spectral Einstein Code (SpEC) , and we are particularly interested in modeling merging black holes that spin nearly as fast as possible and in responding to LIGO observations . I recently have begun using supercomputers to model thermal noise in LIGO mirrors, with the goal of helping to improve the sensitivity of next-generation detectors, and exploring how well gravitatioanl-wave detectors can measure rapid black-hole spins .