From April 4 to 8, 2005, the opening conference of the research group was held at ZiF. The Managing Director of the ZiF, Prof. Dr. Ipke Wachsmuth, welcomed over 50 researchers from 11 different countries. A special afternoon was devoted to the 20th anniversary of the BiBoS-Center. Since its creation in 1984, BiBoS (originally for "Bielefeld-Bochum-Stochastics" now transformed into "Bielefeld-Bonn-Stochastics") has become a prominent forum for collaborative research; scientists from all parts of the world have met here for joint work, and students from many countries have profited from contact with a large number of experts.
The topics of the opening conference concentrated on the theory and the applications of stochastic partial differential equations and random media. In both fields the newest trends and developments, theoretical results and applications were presented. Stochastic partial differential equations and random media are of large interest in stochastic analysis. Stochastic partial differential equations are used to model systems under stochastic influence or complex systems which are described approximatively. They can be found in population genetics, kinetics or reaction diffusion systems, in economy for the description of interest rate dynamics, in hydrodynamics, and for the description of interacting particle systems in physics. Random media occur in many real-life systems. They are used to model fluids and contaminants diffusing in porous inhomogeneous media, self-avoiding random walks describing polymers, surfaces separating different phases in statistical mechanics, stochastic networks, nuclear growth processes as well as fermionic and DNA-alignment processes.