Introduction to topics of the MCTP black hole workshop

Black holes in string theory offer an arena for profound and fundamental questions in theoretical physics that continues to inspire new and fruitful avenues of research. Challenging foundational questions in quantum gravity are being elucidated by the impressive progress on precision counting of black hole microstates. At the same time researchers in the field are being humbled by the ever sharper confusions posed by the black hole information paradox. The MCTP workshop on black holes in string theory will bring together about 30 active researchers in the area with roughly equal proportion of senior and junior workers. The format will encourage informal discussions over formal lectures in order to promote the exchange of ideas and encourage new collaborations. In order to be maximally productive the workshop will primarily focus on "fundamental" issues at the expense of the exciting interdisciplinary developments involving "applications" to condensed matter, QCD matter, and other strongly coupled systems. Nevertheless these frontiers will of course inform the discussion.