Introduction to the subject of ultrafast photonics; propagation of pulses in linear media: dispersion and its compensation; generation and characterization of femtosecond pulses; nonlinear effects of second order: second harmonic generation, difference frequency mixing, broadband optical parametric amplification; nonlinear effects of third order: nonlinear refractive index and phase modulation; effects in nonlinear pulse propagation including soliton formation and generation of supercontinuum; applications to synthesis of few-cycle pulses; ultrafast time-resolved spectroscopies: basic principles and examples in transient absorption, terahertz time-domain spectroscopy and two-dimensional spectroscopy; survey of contemporary topics (via student seminars), covering comtemporary topics, e.g. attosecond physics; high harmonic generation; precision metrology via femtosecond frequency combs.