Summer School

Quantum Monte Carlo
and the CASINO program VI

The sixth international summer school in the "Quantum Monte Carlo and the CASINO program" series took place from 30th July to 6th August 2011 and involved 22 students from 14 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, four students scaling the Incredibly Dangerous Waterfall (without a rope!) in the Cave That Screams, and the conquering of the Turrite di San Rocco canyon. However, despite a fighting effort our boys suffered a 12-7 beating in the 8th "Vallico Sotto against the World" football match.

Following intensive examinations on the final day, the prestigious "TTI QMC Summer School Champion" award went to Bartomeu Monserrat-Sanchez of the University of Cambridge, U.K., for which he was awarded the prize of an antique telescope (honorable mention to Alasdair Dunlap-Smith, who was beaten only by the narrowest of margins).

Prize for most daring student went to Sam Azadi, who surged ahead of all the others in all physical activities, who went cave-diving in a freezing river in the middle of a mountain wearing only his underwear, and who dared to have his photograph taken with his shirt off (causing a riot amongst the local Vallico girls).


Mike Towler, Neil Drummond, Pablo López Ríos, Martin Krupicka

Peter Agoston, Sam Azadi, Gwendolyn Barnes, Pascal Bugnion, Mauro Causà, Richard Dawes, Alasdair Dunlap-Smith, Immanuel Gadaczek, Dimitra Georgakaki, Katalin Gillemot, Richard Hatz, William Yim Wai Leung, Veera Krasnenko, Andre Mirtschink, Bartomeu Monserrat-Sanchez, Olga Mula, Laszlo Oroszlany, Tom Poole, Peizhe Tang, David Visontai, Yuning Wu, Orestis Ziogos

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: many atoms, many protons, many processors" [PDF]
    - "Forces and dynamics. Expectation values other than the energy" [PDF]
    - "Practical aspects when using pseudopotentials with CASINO" [PPT]

Pablo López Ríos (pl275 at

  • - "Statistics in quantum Monte Carlo" [PDF]
    - "Wave functions beyond Slater-Jastrow for QMC" [PDF]. Animation of nodes [GIF]
    - "Pseudopotentials for QMC" [PDF]

Neil Drummond (ndd21 at

  • - "Diffusion quantum Monte Carlo" [PDF]
    - "Optimization of many-electron wave functions" [PDF]
    - "Ewald interactions and finite size errors" [PDF]
    - "Quantum Monte Carlo study of the two-dimensional homogeneous electron gas" [PDF]

Martin Krupicka (chemmakr at

  • - "Applications: systems with atoms" [PDF]

Practical worksheets and input files (password required)

QMC Exam (password required)

  • - "Exam" [PDF]


  • "I am writing to thank you again for organising the Summer School. I learned a lot and I had an amazing time. Everything we did was amazing, from climbing to caving, and from football to dinners. But of all the things the most valuable to me was the people I met, the discussions we had and the science we learned. I think you are doing something amazing in TTI, and I hope you keep it going for a long time! I hope many generations of young students can continue benefiting from it! Thank you very much again!"

  • "I am writing to tank you again because of the amazing school which was the best one I have ever had. The only disappointing part for me was the exam which is my usual problem in written exam, shortage of time because of the explanation more than enough ! By the way, last week was for me one of the best summer weeks in my life. I like to say you can count one me in the future for any such events. It is my appreciate to help you, whenever wherever ."

  • "Thank you for a unique and memorable summer school, and I will take your advice to heart."

  • "Thanks again for everything you and your colleagues have done to make this summer school fantastic."

  • "I'm meanwhile back in [my city] with many many nice memories on the past week. It was a pleasure to learn about QMC in such a magnificent environment and I really appreciate your way of approaching science. Especially how you manage to have a life next to science. I have not only learned about QMC, but valuable lessons for my personal development as well. So thank you very much once more, best wishes to Saska, Sam, Neil, Pablo and you."

  • "Thanks for your friendship and hospitality for organizing a fantastic summer school. After attending the summer school, I am able to learn not only the scientific details of QMC but also the culture of local italian village."

  • "Thank you for organizing a great workshop. I certainly appreciate all of your efforts."

  • "I would like to thank you for facilitating a wonderful summer school. I learnt a tremendous amount during the week. It was an invaluable experience to meet other academics from around the world. The excursions were most enjoyable. I count myself privileged to have experienced a bit of the Tuscan way of life and to have been among the majestic beauty of the alps. All in all, the week has broadened my perspective and experience of life and physics."

  • "I am writing you to thank you again for this really wonderful Summer School, where I really learned so much about QMC. CASINO is already running on our cluster and the performance is really impressive. ... Yesterday I gave the talk about the Summer School in our internal group seminar, and it was a great success. Most of the people in my group think that they can use it for their projects to get better results and get wrong trends obtained by DFT in the correct order by using QMC simulations. ... Thanks again for this great experience, which gave me a lot of new motivation for my projects. Greetings to your family Saska and Sam, and also to Pablo and Neil."