Summer School

Quantum Monte Carlo
and the CASINO program II

The second international summer school in the "Quantum Monte Carlo and the CASINO program" series took place from 29th July-5th August 2007. The purpose of the school was to provide the student with a thorough working knowledge of the quantum Monte Carlo electronic structure method as currently used in quantum chemistry and condensed matter physics and to show him or her how to use the Cambridge CASINO QMC program for serious scientific research. The participants spent around four hours each morning listening to lectures on the quantum Monte Carlo method. This was followed by practical examples classes with the CASINO software, and a programme of healthy recreational activities such as mountain walking and cave exploration.

Notable achievements by the more athletic of the students include the first TTI group to cross the rock arch of Monte Forato, and the rediscovery of Pietro Magri's signature in the inaccessible cave 'The Palace of Ismeno' (full story). Some of the students also conquered the vertical walls of Monte Procinto, and another group made it to the top of Pania della Croce.


Mike Towler, Neil Drummond, Pablo Lopez Rios


Hamad Alyahyaei, Ching Cheng, Hsien-Yao Chang, Matus Dubecky, Dan Fors, Colin Glass, Ching-Liang Huang, Mikhail Kibalchenko, Wendy Lampart, I-Chun Lin, Ru-Fen Liu, Emmanuel Baribefe Naziga, Cono di Paola, Alvaro Rodriguez, Flavia Rolim, Amit Raj Sharma, Maja Stojkovic, Haibin Su, Aleksandra Vojvodic, Jonas Hartwig.

Lectures presented : slides

Mike Towler (mdt26 at

  • - "Quantum Monte Carlo : a practical solution to the correlation problem in electronic structure calculations" [PDF]
    - "The CASINO program : a basic introduction to functionality and input/output" [PDF]
    - "Scaling with system size and atomic number, forces, and other issues" [PDF]
    - "Expectation values other than the energy" [PDF]
    - "Practical aspects when using pseudopotentials with CASINO" [PPT]

Neil Drummond (ndd21 at

  • - "Diffusion Monte Carlo" [PDF]
    - "Optimization of QMC trial wave functions" [PDF]
    - "Solid-state calculations: interactions and finite size effects" [PDF]
    - "Some applications of QMC to real systems (with atoms)" [PPT]

Pablo Lopez Rios (pl275 at

  • - "Statistical analysis for QMC" [PDF]
    - "Wave functions beyond Slater-Jastrow for QMC" [PDF]
    - "Applications of QMC: electron and electron-hole systems" [PDF]
    - "Pseudopotentials for quantum Monte Carlo" [PDF]

Lecture notes (password required)

Pablo Lopez Rios (pl275 at

  • - "Statistical analysis for QMC" [PDF]

Practical worksheets (password required)

  • - "Tuesday (basic QMC)" [PDF]
    - "Wednesday (optimization)" [PDF]
    - "Thurday (advanced QMC)" [PDF]

QMC Exam (password required)

  • - "Exam" (NDD/MDT) [PDF]


  • Thank you so much for organising the summer school. It is really a wonderful experience and I wish I would have another chance to return soon.

  • You bet how wonderful time I had (I believe others students did too) in this fantastic summer school !! I would like to quote a very popular Chinese poem to show my personal feeling of the almost ideal life in Vallico Sotto. The author is Tao Yuan-ming, an extremely all-time popular poet of reclusion throughout chinese history after him. And Tao's philosophy of life is epitomized by his house or hut as a central metaphor for self and universe. The following poem is called "Drinking Poem - 5 of 20":

    I built my hut within where others live,
    But there is no noise of carriages and horses.
    You ask how this is possible:
    When the heart is distant, solitude comes.
    I pluck chrysanthemums by the eastern fence
    And see the distant southern mountains.
    The mountain air is fresh at dusk.
    Flying birds return in flocks.
    In these things there lies a great truth,
    But when I try to express it, I cannot find the words.

    Especially "I pluck chrysanthemums by the eastern fence And see the distant southern mountains" can be recited by almost every Chinese fellow. I am also grateful for the night of awesome firework, which was like special "time tunnel" to bring me back to my childhood. Thank you and Thank you !! I was in a bit hurry I didn't bring camera with me, but the whole beautiful scenary has been deeply impressed in my memory, which is unfadable for sure...

  • I want to say again, "Thank You for a good time in Tuscany". All particular facets of school was great, including lectures, practice, place, people, activities, food etc. It was my first summer school (conference) but I think it shall be hard to find something better. Thanks.

  • It was a pleasure to be in the summer school last week in Vallico Sotto, to meet you and your team, this "strange foreign people" (including myself), and Sammy and Saska. I liked very much the lectures, learned many things and enjoyed a lot our excursions and dinners. We really had a good time, congratulations on the organization of this fantastic enterprise. Thank you very much!

  • Thank you for hosting the wonderful summer school on earth. I had really enjoyed that :)

  • Thank you for a great week both when it comes to science and adventure. Now I really understand why people return to Tuscany. Hopefully we will too.

  • Thanks for the nice time we spent at your place all together! It was very nice time, nice way to socialize and all lectures were extremely interesting!

  • Thank you - you, Neil and Pablo brought us such a fruitful and joyful summer school!!! I have learned so much about the technical parts of QMC as well as the related applied physical problems!! Including learning that QMC can describe the Van der Waale's interaction, descirption of the e-h phase diagram and the interesting discussion in your talk about the strongly correlated systems!! Not to mention that we got all those different options of activities every day to exercise our bodies after the brain exercises in the morning, besides the interesting monastery we took the lectures, slept in and had meals, tea and coffee!!! Really gratefully to you three for the wonderful time!!