Oh nice. How did you use high performance computing (and where did you learn it)? Would you mind if you PM me your personal statement? Thanks! =) I'd like to see it since I'm also really into the same field.
Does computational astrophysics seem to have lower or higher demand relative to other fields? Do you also have some CS courses?
And is Java even useful? Most scientists seem to look down on it since it's slow.
Are you going for generic computational astrophysics, or for a particular subfield within it? What do you think of N-body simulations?
I am using MPI (message passing interface) on a 12 core processor at the School to simulate metallicity of hydrogen and carbon monoxide in late-type brown dwarfs. I will PM you soon but since it is christmas I have a alot of fam in town and not enough time today to even be on the comp lol but I will answer a couple things. I am mainly interested in stellar astronomy and simulating stellar interiors. Eventually I will adapt my code to galactic structures since I am also interested galactic astronomy as well.
I have taken two Comp. Sci. classes (lower level) and I mainly learned the rest on my own. I did a year of HEP research using FLUKA which is a particle transport code and learned alot about UNIX and Fortran from there.
As for Java, it is slow and more useful in animation and graphics, whereas Fortran is essentially the primary language for numerical computations.
I will PM soon with a more detailed background.