My name is Daniel Mikkola I'm a half-Swedish, half-Finnish PhD student in astrophysics at Lund University in Sweden. I'm 27 years old with a BSc in physics and a MSc in astrophysics and greatly enjoy all things programming. I've worked with computational tools all through my academic career which started with planet formation during my bachelor's degree and led onwards to galaxy simulations by my master's. Originally schooled in MATLAB I've since transitioned to mostly utilizing Python 3 with a mixture of C, C++ & HTML sprinkled in along the way. If you are interested in my work, check out my research.

When not working, I spend my time with one of my hobbies. During the year I hike multiple times and camp outdoors overnight. There is no superior way of experiencing nature than living & breating it. While at home, I enjoy gaming, socializing with friends & going to the gym.


I study Galactic structure and evolution through different projects. My first project has been submitted and regards radial migration of stars. My second project uses statistical methods to infer velocity distributions of Gaia stars without radial velocity measurements. Much more detailed information will be added to this page in the near future!


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Public outreach

Since 2013 I have been a part of Lund University's Physics and Lasershow, this is an educational show which consists of typically a 45 minute demonstration of physical experiments with explanation followed by a 15 minute long lasershow. The aim of the show is to inspire all different ages towards physics and natural science as a whole while simultaneously performing marketing for Lund University. During my years in the show I have had the wonderful opportunity to interact with students of all ages and help them see what makes science a worthwhile pursuit. The show has also travelled abroad where we have interacted with the greater European science outreach community.

As part of the show I have attended the following events:

  • Göteborg - Vetenskapsfestivalen 2013-
  • Uppsala - Scifest 2017, 2018
  • Slovenia - FESTIVAL ZNANOST 2016
  • Copenhagen - EOF 2014
  • Katowice - Śląski Festiwal Nauki 2019
  • Montenegro - Days of Science 2016
  • Växjö - Science City 2016
  • Malmö - InnoCarnival 2014
  • Teaching

    Teaching experience and outlook

    As part of my PhD education at Lund University I have been given a few different teaching roles. My first teaching experience was through the course "Statistical Tools in Astrophysics" at the advanced undergraduate level. In this course I have the task of correcting student reports on four different projects and have to ensure a fair mark. in a second course, "Computational astrophysics" I have assisted during computer labs, aiding students in their programming and project comprehension. In such a sitatuion it is important to know how to identify where help is needed and in what form.

    My most significant teaching experience comes from teaching the course "An introduction to Python programming", which is a mini-course accompanying the two aforementioned courses to ensure students have sufficient programming knowledge for the course projects. This course contains classical lectures as well as exercise sessions on the lecture material. Having taught this course two years I have been able to collect feedback from students and been able to revise the material to improve the learning experience. I am a firm believer of active learning and strive to constantly engage my students through my lecture material. I believe lectures are improved with good graphical aids and with the inclusion of humour as it not only removes any perceived hierarchy but is useful in mainting student focus and interest.

    As part of my teaching experience I have also taken the course "Teaching and learning in higher education" at the university which has greatly improved my own teaching style and pedagogical knowledge.

    Introduction to python programming

    Lecture material

    Click one of the below links to download a .zip folder with all the relevant files for the lecture:


    Lund Observatory
    Box 43 • SE-221 00 Lund • Sweden
    Sölvegatan 27

    +46 46 22 21585




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    print 'It took ' + i + ' iterations to sort the deck.';



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