Molecular computer simulations are playing an increasingly important role in both fundamental and applied research in statistical physics, physical chemistry, and materials science. In contrast to real experiments, this novel method can often realize simple and well-defined physical situations without undesired side effects in a much easier and cheaper way whereby the usually uncontrolled approximations of "paper-and-pencil" theory are avoided. Among the advanced topics to be covered are the theory of wetting and surface critical phenomena, simulations of phase transitions in constrained geometry, finite size effects in thin film simulations, kinetic roughening, superstructure formation, glass transition, polymers at surfaces and interfaces, driven diffusive systems, granular matter, membranes and foams.
The simulation methods to be covered are Monte Carlo, Molecular Dynamics, Langevin methods, thermodynamic integration, histogram methods, accelerated algorithms, and mesoscopic simulation methods including hydrodynamics. The field has developed rapidly with significant methodological advances each decade since the sixties. There is substantial expertise in various countries of the EU and the USA, however with different emphasis on different sub-fields. Therefore there has been a tradition of summer schools (the last important one Como 1995) to disseminate this "know-how" internationally. Such training is again needed, notably to cover new recent developments, and to target Eastern European countries, which still need to build up expertise. For this reason, the venue has been carefully chosen to enable easy travel access for researchers from these countries. The school is designed to combine general training in simulation methods with detailed discussions of one particular application field where we have long-standing experience, the behaviour of complex systems near surfaces/interfaces and the related phase transitions. The importance of these topics for broad technological applications should be evident. We plan to provide a comprehensive review of the field, including recent results and developments. The school has already gained partial funding by NATO as an Advanced Study Institute; we here apply for matching support.