#### Constituents, Fundamental Forces and Symmetries of the Universe

This School takes place yearly in the framework of the EC-RTN network "Constituents, Fundamental Forces and Symmetries of the Universe". Its aim is to try to give a pedagogical introduction to selected topics in string theory and related matters. The selected topics this year are: i) cosmology, ii) twistor string theory and YM theory, iii) D-brane models with fluxes, iv) topological strings and v) non-conformal aspects of the AdS/CFT correspondence.

- i) The recent impressive experimental progress achieved in cosmology has renewed interest in finding viable cosmological string backgrounds. This motivated the need of a course giving a pedagogical introduction to cosmology.
- ii) Interesting recent developments have allowed to better understand the relationship between twistor string theories and certain correlation functions in SUSY (and non-SUSY) theories.
- iii) Flux compactifications are a very interesting way of getting string vacua where many moduli (if not all) can be stabilized. D-branes in presence of flux backgrounds are then a promising class of models to possibly get realistic string vacua.
- iv) Topological string theories allow very often for exact computations. Therefore they are a powerful means to perform calculations on Calabi-Yau geometries and, ultimately, to study open-closed string duality.
- v) The renowned AdS/CFT correspondence is by now a familiar construction in the string community. However, maybe less known are the more realistic non-conformal instances where the gauge/gravity correspondence takes place.

**Editorial Board**

Bonora Loriano, Iengo Roberto, Lüst Dieter, **Marco Serone** (chairman), Matteo Bertolini, Randjbar-Daemi Seif, Van Proeyen Antoine, Zanon Daniela