A tutorial introduction to diffuse light transport is presented. The basic analytic equations of time-resolved, steady-state and modulated light transport are introduced. The perturbation method for handling slight heterogeneities in optical properties is outlined. The treatment of boundary conditions such as an air/tissue surface is described. Finite mesh-based numerical methods are introduced to calculate the diffuse light field in complex tissues with arbitrary boundaries. Applications in tissue spectroscopy and imaging illustrate these theoretical and computational tools.