The "School and Workshop on Time-Dependent Density Functional
Theory" was first hosted by the Benasque Center for Science, Spain from August 28th to September 12th, 2004. The aim of the school was to introduce theoretical, practical, and numerical aspects of time-dependent density-functional theory (TDDFT) to young graduate students, post-docs and even older scientists that were envisaging a project for which TDDFT would be the tool of choice. The outstanding success of this school led to the organization of a second event, held once more in Benasque, from August 27th to September 11th, 2006.
A clear demonstration of the impact of these events is the publication of a Springer Lecture Notes book with the contributions of the first school. This book was the first comprehensive review of the field to be published and served as basic course material for the second school. At the end of both schools we conducted a survey among the students to get their impression on the contents of the school, the lectures and practical sessions. The input was very positive, in particular concerning the idea of having this combined event repeated in the future. A two-year periodicity seemed to be the ideal one.
This school is also part of a more general training effort conducted at the European level through the Psi-k Marie Curie Series of Events (Psi-k Training in Computational Nanoscience) and the NANOQUANTA network of Excellence.
Following our previous experience, we are convinced that the most efficient scheme for training of young researchers in these techniques is to have a school where the basic theory is taught followed by a workshop that introduces them to the forefront research in the field. The school should have an equal share of theoretical and practical classes. This would ease the learning of the techniques and would provide the students with the practical knowledge of the numerical aspects and difficulties, while also introducing them to well-established open source numerical codes. At the end of the school, students should have sufficient working knowledge to pursue their projects at their home institution.
The school will be followed by an international workshop, where the new developments of TDDFT and Many-Body Techniques for the calculation of excitations will be discussed. Students attending the school will be encouraged to attend the workshop, so they can get in contact with state of the art research in the field. The purpose of the workshop is to bring together leading experts in all these fields with different backgrounds, like density functional, many-body, nuclear physics, quantum chemists, and biophysicists. This will allow the exchange of ideas between the different fields and the creation of links between the traditionally separated communities. We believe that the intense and informal discussion which is possible in this kind of workshops can contribute to the formation of a strong community in the field of TDDFT.