On behalf of the International Scientific Committee and the Organizing Committee of the 14th Density Functional Theory Conference, I welcome you to the city of Athens, the city of Socrates, Plato, Pericles, which under the aegis of Athena, the goddess of wisdom, hosted so many ancient thinkers like Aristoteles, Zeno, Anaxagoras, Chrysippos, to mention a few.
I would like in particular to welcome Professor Walter Kohn, Nobel Laurate, who, together with his collaborators, established the foundations of Density Functional Theory (DFT).
From one conference to the next, we see a lot of progress and wider applications of DFT. Looking into the abstracts I found that more exchange and correlation functional have been introduced and successfully applied to more and more complex systems. Of course, we are still in search of the universal functional, but at present we are happy with the specialized ones. It is to be noted that the success in energy accuracy is not accompanied by improvement of the qualitative features of the many particle wave function. This problem, fundamental for applications like, for example, transition probabilities and selection rules is due to the asymmetry of the Kohn and Sham wave functions. Improvements in this respect are a challenge for theorists.
Concerning the choice of invited speakers and oral presentations, a somewhat different policy was applied for this conference. The selection criteria were not only the quality of work but also thematic and geographic diversity. We also tried to include many women scientists.
Finally, I would like to thank our secretaries Gina Balafa and Maria Tassi, for their excellent work.
Thanks are also due to the Editors of International Journal of Quantum Chemistry for their decision to devote a special issue of this journal to Density Functional Theory.
Reminding you that this is the 14th DFT conference, the last ones being in Paris (1995), Vienna (1997), Rome (1999), Madrid (2001), Brussels (2003), Geneva (2005), Amsterdam (2007), Lyon (2009), I wish you a fruitful conference, which also will give you the chance to visit the city of Athens, ancient and modern.