The questioning about the Universe we inhabit is one of the main characteristics of the human species. Since dawn of human civilization, men wonder what the Universe is and why it is what it is. Cosmology, as a science of the Universe, in the last few decades has provided an important physical description of the world as we know it. In the 80's, several galaxy surveys reaching beyond our cosmic neighborhood demonstrated how clustered the Universe is in scales as large as 100 Mpc. More recently, the study of the cosmic microwave background has revealed the small density fluctuations that originated the galaxies and clusters of galaxies that we observe today. Another important component of this enterprise is the use of numerical simulations to address questions that otherwise would be hard to face. Today, large consortiums have embarked on simulating the Universe with unprecedented resolution and taking into account the complexity of the gas dynamics.
In an era of global collaborative science, where Brazil is joining the ESO community and is exchanging students and researchers through the governmental program "Sem Fronteiras", bringing the state of the art in cosmology to both students and faculty members is mandatory if Brazil intends to become more competitive. These are aspects of paramount importance to establishing a roadmap for cosmology. The main objective of the Fifth INPE Advanced Course is to present and discuss the different aspects of current research in cosmology, for both Brazilian and international participants. The lectures will focus on the following topics: 1) Cosmic Microwave Background, with emphasis on the new results from Planck (Dr. Graça Rocha and Dr. Krzys G. Gorski); 2) the large scale structure as unveiled by the recently completed Sloan Digital Sky Survey (Dr. Brice Menard); and 3) cosmological simulations, which became an essential part of the research in this field (Dr. Neal Katz). Another important topic of the school will be addressed by a renowned philosopher, Dr. John Leslie - "The mystery of the existence".