Density functional theory began with the work of Thomas and Fermi, at about the same time as Schroedinger wrote his famous equation. It is a bizarre approach to the quantum mechanics of many particle systems. Its unreasonable utility for electronic problems is slowly transforming the world we live in, as was recognized by the 1998 Nobel prize in chemistry. I will explain in general terms what density functional theory is and describe some problems of current interest.
Physics, Room 203, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN