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Up Directory CCL 13.08.04 Quantum Monte Carlo summer school, Tuscany, Italy
From: chemistry-request at
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Date: Fri Jan 11 11:31:28 2013
Subject: 13.08.04 Quantum Monte Carlo summer school, Tuscany, Italy

      "Quantum Monte Carlo and the CASINO program VIII"

               Sun 4th - Sun 11th August 2013
            Apuan Alps Centre for Physics [] TTI
               Vallico Sotto, Tuscany, Italy



The eighth international summer school in the series "Quantum Monte Carlo
and the CASINO program" will take place during August 2013 at the TTI
monastery in the Tuscan Apuan Alps in Italy, organized and hosted by
members and associates of Cambridge University physics department's Theory
of Condensed Matter Group. The aim of the school is to give students a
thorough introduction to quantum Monte Carlo as a method for performing
high-quality calculations of the electronic structure of atoms, molecules,
and materials. The course is designed for quantum chemists or theoretical
physicists who have no previous experience with this technique; people at
any stage of their career who are interested are welcome to take part.

The monastery - incorporating the Apuan Alps Centre for Physics - is a
unique venue where the magnificent location and community spirit have
inspired a long series of memorable schools and workshops since it first
opened its doors almost ten years ago. It is a delightful 15th century
building incorporating an ancient church, and is situated in the isolated
but spectacular setting of the Tuscan mountain village of Vallico Sotto.
The church is fully equipped with the relevant presentation and computer
technology, and all accommodation is on-site or in other houses in the
village. As with all events at the Institute, formal lectures are
restricted to the mornings, and participants are encouraged to spend much
of the rest of the day thinking, contemplating, and discussing the issues
at hand. Practical computer exercises after lunch will be followed by a
programme of recreational activities such as mountain walks, cave trips,
and city visits organized for the latter half of most afternoons; the days
generally conclude with tasty evening meals in local family restaurants.

Describing the complex behaviour of materials at the atomic level requires
a sophisticated description of the correlated motion of the electrons.
Quantum Monte Carlo (QMC) is an increasingly popular and explicitly
many-body method with the unique capability of yielding highly accurate
results whilst also exhibiting a very favourable scaling of computational
cost with system size, and essentially perfect parallel scaling up to (at
least) hundreds of thousands of computer cores. Over the last twenty
years, the Cambridge group have been researching QMC methods and we have
created a powerful, general computer program - CASINO - to carry out the
calculations. The school will focus both on the basic theory of QMC and on
more advanced practical techniques, and will include a thorough
introduction to the CASINO program. A background in density functional
theory or similar - though not essential - is normally thought to be
useful, as is an ability to operate computers through a Linux command line

Quantum Monte Carlo and the scaling behaviour of CASINO on the fastest
computers in the world were the subject of a recent Psi-k "Scientific
Highlight of the Month" review articles. See "Petascale computing opens
new vistas for quantum Monte Carlo" by M.J.Gillan, M.D. Towler and D.Alfe,
available for download here:

Instructors at the school will include the main authors of the CASINO
program: Dr. Pablo Lopez Rios (Cambridge), Dr. Neil Drummond (Lancaster)
and Dr. Mike Towler (Cambridge/UCL).

Participants who need to fly to Italy would normally book a flight to Pisa
airport (or possibly Florence) from where onward transportation will be
arranged. Other airports such as Milano/Roma are possible if you don't
mind a longer train trip. Details of previous schools - including
photographs and comments from the participants - are available under the
Events List links on the TTI web site.

Interested students should email Mike Towler (mdt26 at for
registration and further information.

Feedback from previous schools

"I am really happy to see that you are preparing a new Casino Summer
School in Vallico Sotto. It remains for me the most profitable workshop I
have ever had, associating the top quality of lectures and the excellent
practical training, making very difficult things to become accessible. It
remains also for me the type of ideal ambience associating work,
scientific discussion and entertainments."

"Just a brief note to thank you again for hosting the QMC summer school. I
had a wonderful time in Tuscany, it was probably the best conference or
school I've attended. The science was excellent, and the location,
obviously, stunning. The Towler Institute is a very impressive place.
Every one of the participants was a pleasure to spend time with, and I've
come away with some friends with whom I intend to keep in contact."

"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."

"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."

"I will advice your school to anyone on the earth"
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