Quantum Monte Carlo in the Apuan Alps IX

Sat 26th July - Sat 2nd August 2014
The Apuan Alps Centre for Physics @ TTI
Vallico Sotto, Tuscany, Italy


Conference programme document
(final version)

Former conferences and archive

Report on last year's meeting

Continuing the series of alternative and very informal meetings at this venue, the Cambridge University Theory of Condensed Matter group is organizing a ninth International Workshop to discuss the development and application of the continuum quantum Monte Carlo (QMC) method and related topics such as density functional theory (DFT) in condensed matter physics and quantum chemistry. The conference will take place in our 15th Century monastery in the mediaeval high mountain village of Vallico Sotto (in the Tuscan Apuan Alps near the beautiful Italian city of Lucca).

For many types of problem the accuracy of QMC is much better than that of the more widely-used DFT, and its scaling with number of atoms is much more favourable than that of high-level quantum chemistry. Unlike most other methods, it is also fully capable of exploiting the full power of the largest computers in the world (e.g. the Cambridge CASINO code has been shown to have almost perfect parallel scaling to over 100,000 CPU cores). All topics related to applications of QMC and/or theory and algorithm development will be welcome, though it is expected that broader topics in the general area will also be discussed.

A particular topic of interest is the relationship between QMC and density functional theory. In particular, we hope to look towards obtaining a better understanding of the relative benefits of QMC/DFT in systems and situations where DFT often fails, such as in weakly-interacting systems, strongly-correlated materials, metal-insulator transitions, magnetic properties, and biological systems. Furthermore, it is intended to look into the better integration of DFT and QMC codes. In industrial applications, where users typically require ease-of-use and a graphical user interface, how can we move towards a situation where the user may do e.g. pre-screening of candidate structures with the faster DFT, then press a `Make the Answer Better button' which feeds the relevant wave function files into a QMC programme and spits out reliably accurate energetics for the selected problems. It is also if interest to understand how to `move the atoms' in QMC i.e. how to exploit the power of QMC in cheaper DFT and classical-force-field molecular dynamics calculations (in the context of `embedding methods' or otherwise). Additionally we can look at how to use QMC to develop better exchange-correlation functionals for use in DFT. We therefore warmly encourage the participation of DFT people who may never have a run a QMC simulation in their lives but are nevertheless interested in the topic. Suggestions for alternative discussion topics and other proposals are welcome.

The normal format for events at the Apuan Alps Centre for Physics involves formal presentations being restricted to the mornings, with the afternoons left free for relaxed discussion and participation in activities. For the young and vigorous, we organize mountain walks, caving and other healthy outdoor exercise, whilst those not so inclined might enjoy artistic tours, city visits, and gentle country strolls, with all participants reuniting in the evening for relaxed Tuscan dinners in local restaurants. The monastery is a unique venue where the community spirit and magnificent location have inspired memorable meetings in the past.

This year's workshop will involve up to 50 people, all accommodated on site and in the village. Many speakers will be specifically invited, but anyone who feels that they have something to contribute and who wishes to attend the event is most welcome to contact the organizer (Mike Towler: mdt26 at for further details. There is no charge either for attendance at the conference or accommodation (unless you stay in a commercial hotel). A provisional programmme is available on the website.

List of participants
Dario Alfè (University College, London, U.K.)
Sam Azadi (Imperial College, London, U.K.)
Giovanni Bachelet (Sapienza University, Roma, Italy)
Vincenzo Barone (Scuola Normale, Pisa, Italy)
Stefano Baroni (SISSA, Trieste, Italy) - TBC
Stuart Bogatko (University College, London, U.K.)
Dario Bressanini (Università dell'Insubria, Italy)
Shibing Chu (Lanzhou University, China)
Ron Cohen (University College, London, U.K.)
Gareth Conduit (University of Cambridge, U.K.)
Bruno Cramer (University of Campinas, Brazil)
Csaba Daday (University of Twente, Holland)
Caterina De Franco (University of L'Aquila, Italy)
Roberto Dovesi (University of Torino, Italy)
Andrea Droghetti (Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland)
Neil Drummond (University of Lancaster, U.K.)
Edgar Engel (University of Cambridge, U.K.)
Elif Ertekin (University of Illinois, U.S.A.)
Matthew Foulkes (Imperial College, London, U.K.)
Mike Gillan (University College, London, U.K.) - TBC
Leonardo Guidoni (University of L'Aquila, U.K.)
Nic Harrison (Imperial College, London, U.K.)
Kenta Hongo (JAIST, Japan)
Blazej Jaworowski (Wroclaw University of Technology, Poland)
Martin Korth (University of Ulm, Germany)
Jonathan Lloyd-Williams (University of Cambridge, U.K.)
Pierre-Francois Loos (Australian National University, Australia)
Pablo López Ríos (University of Cambridge, U.K.)
Ryo Maezono (JAIST, Japan)
Fionn Malone (Imperial College, London, U.K.)
Mariapia Marchi (ESTECO S.p.A., Trieste, Italy)
Bartomeu Monserrat-Sanchez (University of Cambridge, U.K.)
Elaheh Mostaani (University of Lancaster, U.K.)
Richard Needs (University of Cambridge, U.K.)
Carlo Pierleoni (University of L'Aquila, Italy)
Tom Poole (Imperial College, London, U.K.)
James Shepherd (Rice University, U.S.A.)
Sandro Sorella (SISSA, Trieste, Italy)
Alex Thom (University of Cambridge, Italy)
Mike Towler (University of Cambridge and University College, London, U.K.)
John Trail (University of Cambridge, U.K.)
Cyrus Umrigar (Cornell University, U.S.A.)
Tack Uyeda (JAIST, Japan)
William Vigor (Imperial College, London, U.K.)
Lucas Wagner (University of Illinois, U.S.A.)
Ching-Ming Wei (Academia Sinica, Taiwa)