Summer School

Quantum Monte Carlo
and the CASINO program IV

The fourth international summer school in the "Quantum Monte Carlo and the CASINO program" series took place from the 2nd to the 9th of August 2009 and involved 25 students from 16 countries. The purpose of the school was to provide the students 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 them 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 ascents of Monte Procinto, Monte Matanna and the rock arch at Monte Forato, a large number of students entering the deep chamber in the Cascaltendine cave, three students scaling the waterfall and setting up a fixed rope in the Cave That Screams, and the conquering of the Turrite di San Rocco canyon. However, despite a fighting comeback in the second half the students suffered a bit of a hammering against the thrusting young village lads in the fourth "Vallico Sotto against the World" football match (surprisingly so given the quality of some our players). During the evenings we enjoyed the musical talents of Johan Pohl, who despite being German performs as either a Spanish folk singer or a black American blues singer as the mood takes him. We also enjoyed the Sicilian organ riffs of Stefano Spezia and the lovely Mongolian singing of Ariuna. The students also laughed themselves hoarse at Mike's pathetic attempts at impersonating Jerry Lee Lewis.

Following intensive examinations on the final day, the prestigious "TTI QMC Summer School Champion" award went to James Shepherd of Cambridge University who walked away with a 1977 bottle of excellent port from the TTI wine cellar and was serenaded by fireworks. Being a massive swot, James also won this year's Wildlife Photography Competition with his picture of a Giant Peacock Moth caterpillar, and a small furry creature.


Mike Towler, Neil Drummond, Pablo López Ríos


Ariunbayasgalan Alyeksyei, Mohaddeseh Abbasnejad, Grigor Aslanyan, Alexandre Carvalho, David Dell'Angelo, Andrea Droghetti, Tim Green, Duck Young Kim, Peter Larsson, Pablo Maldonado, José Mira McWilliam, Johan Pohl, José Roberto dos Santos Politi, Hannah Price, Narendra Revanuri, Sergio Santos, Priyanka Seth, Santosh KC, Vinit Sharma, James Shepherd, Stefano Spezia, Maria Velinova, Márton Vörös, Arkadius Wojs

Lectures presented : slides (password required)

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]
    - "Three QMC scaling problems" [PDF]
    - "Forces and dynamics. Expectation values other than the energy" [PDF]
    - "Practical aspects when using pseudopotentials with CASINO" [PPT]

Pablo Lopez Rios (pl275 at

  • - "Statistical analysis for QMC" [PDF]
    - "Wave functions and nodes in QMC" [PDF]
    - "Pseudopotentials for QMC" [PDF]

Neil Drummond (ndd21 at

  • - "Diffusion Monte Carlo" [PDF]
    - "Optimization of many-electron wave functions" [PDF]
    - "Ewald interactions and finite size errors" [PDF]
    - "Some recent applications of quantum Monte Carlo simulation" [PPT]

Practical worksheets and input files (password required)

QMC Exam (password required)

  • - "Exam" [PDF]


  • "..thank you very much for organizing the conference -- it was amazing and I have a lot of fun memories! You're right that bringing a whole load of like-minded people together in one place at the same time is fantastic; it was great to have this unique experience before starting my PhD next year."

  • "Thanks again! Besides having fun and learning at the school, I'm truly impressed with what you did with the TTI and how the whole school was organized. I've been to a few before, but this was special!"

  • "First of all, I am really thankful for your help. It was the first time I participated to the such workshop and it was really helpful for me and I could learn many things during this summer school. I hope that such workshops will be continued as it indeed helps those who are interested in QMC."

  • "We enjoy a lot this amazing week. Thank you for all"

  • "Thanks for putting on the entire school and making it a wonderful (and well organised) week! I've never experienced quite the combination of excessive learning and excessive exercise."

  • "Thank you very much for arranging a special summer school. I am very much grateful to you. The excellent lectures, trips to mountains, beaches, caves, all lots of fun all the time. The stay at Tuscany will be a lifetime memory for me! You're wonderful. You did a great job. Long live QMC Summmer School. PS: Visit Nepal.."

  • "The summer school is an excellent in my whole life and I have really got inspired. I think every one who attends the QMC school will go back to home with great spirits. My words fail to explain how much I have enjoyed the lectures and outing trips. Thanks a lot for everything.. I will really miss you."

  • "Quero agradecer, o tempo, a simpatia, com que me receberar no vosso TTI. O meu sincero agradecimento pela possibilidade de evoluir e aprender com o vosso exemplo. A escola de verao foi moito mais do que QMC. A escola de verao foi una licao de vida. ... Com elevada estima e consideracao."

  • "I wanted to thank you a lot for organizing a great Summer school and for the opportunity you gave me to attend it. It was very nice to meet you, Neil, Pablo and your family. The quality of the lectures and the excellent exercises were making very difficult issues understandable for me. Your organizing skills are really impressive; I had wonderful time in Vallico Sotto. I truly enjoyed the outing trips and the dinners."

  • "This is the unique school i have got in my life which will be remembered through out my life. School with whole lots of adventures... Thank you."

  • "I'd like to thank again for this wonderful week! I think it gave me enough energy to start and finish my PhD studies... If that's not the case then I'm afraid that I have to visit Vallico Sotto again :)"

  • "I want thank you very much the amazing experience, I have learnt much about DMC and about its applications in molecules (when I finished my thesis I would like work in this field because you have shown me that it is a interesting area to work). It was nice to meet people like all of you. I hope to see you again. I am really grateful to you to enable climb Monte Procinto and to scale the waterfall too, because I think, it was been the most exciting adventure in my life."

  • "Thank you very much for everything. It just because of you we had a wonderful time. You are not only a [EMBARRASSING PRAISE DELETED] but a [EMBARRASSING PRAISE DELETED]. I will be grateful for the hospitality you provided in the summer school. .. Wishing you a very good luck and may God fulfil you with lots of joy and happiness. Hats off to you. Regards to the man."