Summer School

Quantum Monte Carlo
and the CASINO program VIII

The eighth international summer school in the "Quantum Monte Carlo and the CASINO program" series took place from Sunday 4th August to Sunday 11th August 2013 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.

In the late afternoons various groups of students attacked and conquered Monte Matanna, the cylindrical rock tower of Monte Procinto, the wild Turrite di San Rocco canyon, the legendary Cave of Cascaltendine, the Cave of Fairies of Vallico Sotto, the natural rock arch of Monte Forato, the terrifying 'Cave That Screams', the mighty Orrido di Botri canyon, and a small hill near San Pelligrinetto with quite a nice view. Special mention should be made of Englishman Matthew Malcomson and Russian Yury Gladush, who spent the week showing off their tremendous athletic abilities and natural courage, by unnecessarily running up very steep mountains just because they could, and by free-climbing various suicidally dangerous slippy rock faces. Following his exploits in the annual "Vallico Sotto against the World" football match, in which he wore only a pair of shorts and no shoes, Malcomson was nicknamed "La Bestia" - the Beast - by locals, and quite right too. OK so we lost 12-11 on a Golden Goal after a hard fought match against their Junior team, but it's better than being absolutely caned as is more usual on these occasions. Both men also demonstrated their considerable musical abilities in a Rock'n'roll evening at the Vallico Sotto Star Club, along with Minh Tam Nguyen, Ludmila Szulakowska, Sofia Silva, Mr. Pablo López Ríos (who also managed a 40-minute drum solo during a traditional Vallico Sotto dance night down in the village) and others.

To check which students have been paying most attention during the lectures and practical classes, we traditionally hold a tough examination on the final day. The highest mark and the award of the prestigious title of "TTI QMC Summer School Champion 2013", went to Pride of Poland Blazej Jaworowski from Wroclaw, for which he was awarded the prize of a 19th century Gentleman's Telescope. Following our first-ever seaside day trip to Lerici and Portovenere, his triumph was celebrated in the TTI church with fine Barolo-soaked cheese from Lucca and a quality speech from the victor which could have been given by Abraham Lincoln. After Booth shot him.

This year marked the promotion of 17-month-old Jamie Towler to our staff. We are somewhat unhappy to report that he spent the week perambulating about the Institute, clad only in a nappy/diaper, stealing people's possessions from their rooms, chewing them, and attempting to throw them into the lavatory - before parading into the back of the church and making screeching noises during his father's lectures. It is to be hoped that - following a rigorous and intensive training program - he might be of considerably more use in future years.


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

Yasmine Al-Hamdani, Tadeusz Andruniów, Can Ataca, Samaneh Ataei, Salvatore Cardamone, Ambesh Dixit, Guillaume Ferlat, Laura Giacopetti, Yury Gladush, Cecilia Goyenola, Blazej Jaworowski, Manuel Perez Jigato, Peter Korir, Matthew Malcomson, Jana Mathauserová, Marcos Menéndez, Elaheh Mostaani, Minh Tam Nguyen, Antonio Noto, Eduardo Menendez Proupin, Samuel Ridgway, Kayahan Saritas, Pedro Silva, Kyrylo Snizhko, Ludmila Szulakowska

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]

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 (n.drummond at

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

Practical worksheets and input files

QMC Exam

  • - "Exam" [PDF]
    - "Answers" [PDF]

Student talks



  • "I just wanted to express my greatest thanks for this wonderful QMC school which in my opinion is the best combination of high-level science and great atmosphere ever. Thanks for all the efforts put in this!"

  • "I just wanted to say thanks very much again for this absolutely fantastic week; the places as well as the people were delightful! I'm sorry I didn't get to say bye to you or Sammy properly (traveling days are always a bit hectic) but please tell Sammy and Saska that I really enjoyed their company and it was so nice of your family to be so very welcoming."

  • "After safely arriving home I want to thank you (and all the people who helped you) once more for organizing such a great school. I thoroughly enjoyed it. First of all, the organizational part was excellent with me not having to think about any technical details at all during the school. Adding to this the amazingly complete pre-school instructions, I must say that the organizational part was really great. The balance between learning activities, sightseeing and Italian dinners (which were as substantial as long :) ) could hardly be better. However, I would hardly survive more than a week of such regime, - and I can only imagine how it was to you. Which makes me even more grateful. :) So in conclusion, I say REALLY HUGE THANK YOU!!! "

  • "I'd like to thank you very much for the great week in Vallico Sotto. It was both instructive and really enjoyable. I had a lot of fun and I couldn't dream of learning more. I am also glad to have met so many wonderful people!"

  • "Thanks again for organising the conference and summer school! As ever they are by far the best workshop & summer school that one could ever hope to attend."