The Abel Symposium 2008 focused on the modern theory of differential equations and their applications in geometry, mechanics, and mathematical physics. Following the tradition of Monge, Abel and Lie, the scientific program emphasized the role of algebro-geometric methods, which nowadays permeate all mathematical models in natural and engineering sciences. The ideas of invariance and symmetry are of fundamental importance in the geometric approach to differential equations, with a serious impact coming from the area of integrable systems and field theories. This volume consists of original contributions and broad overview lectures of the participants of the Symposium. The papers in this volume present the modern approach to this classical subject.