Report on the “ML-IP 2021” workshop (Young and Early-career Researchers’ Tutorial on Machine Learning Interatomic Potentials)

Machine learning potentials have now established themselves as a method of choice in many atomistic simulation projects. This tutorial workshop was aimed at young and early-career researchers who are interested in using machine learning potentials in their work, but are unsure of where to start or of how feasible the proposed application would be.

While the field continues to produce new theoretical and methodological advances, there is now a large class of systems that can be treated with existing, established methods. The main issues now for new researchers entering the field are, first, choosing between the many different machine learning methods (and correspondingly many software packages) available, and second, learning about simulation workflows and best practices that are often undocumented, unwritten “common knowledge”.

The workshop was designed with two main aims: First, to give these researchers a solid introduction in the basic scientific techniques of designing, fitting, and validating a machine learning potential for a new system. Second, to provide a platform for young researchers interested in using machine learning potentials in their work to connect to those involved in developing methods for machine learning potentials, in order to accelerate the adoption of machine learning techniques in the wider atomistic simulation community. Continue reading Report on the “ML-IP 2021” workshop (Young and Early-career Researchers’ Tutorial on Machine Learning Interatomic Potentials)

The 17th ETSF Young Researchers’ Meeting

Group picture in front of the “Torre dell’Elefante”, one of the entrances of “Castello”, the historical center of Cagliari where the conference was held.
ETSF YRM 2021 — September 6-10, Cagliari (Italy).

The Young Researchers’ Meeting (YRM) of the European Theoretical Spectroscopy Facility (ETSF) is an annual meeting which involves researchers in theoretical materials science at the early stages of their careers (i.e. PhD students and post-doctoral researchers).

ETSF YRM 2021 took place in Cagliari (Italy), in the frame of the wonderful and unique landscape of Sardinia. The conference has been held in the auditorium of the Faculty of Architecture, in the spectacular setting of Collegio dei Gesuiti, an historical building dating back to the 17th century. Because of the sanitary crisis due to Covid-19 pandemic, and because of the consequent necessity to maintain security distances, the number of participants was restricted. However, in order to give to all the applicants the possibility to attend the meeting, all the talks were broadcast via Zoom.

The YRM of ETSF aims to give to young researchers the opportunity to present their work and to share their knowledge in state-of-the-art theoretical methods for solid state physics, in an informal context which stimulates networking and exchange between peers. It also promotes meeting between young researchers and private companies interested in profiles with a strong scientific backgrounds. To this purpose, one of the session of the conference hosted some former researchers now working out of academia, which shared with the participants their experiences. Continue reading The 17th ETSF Young Researchers’ Meeting

Psi-k Conference 2022

Dear Psi-k,

Following on from our email last month, we are excited to share some news about our whole-community Psi-k 2022 Conference in August.

Now that Switzerland has relaxed all restrictions on travel and events, and with the situation generally improving, the Board of Trustees has decided to proceed with a fully in-person event as planned for 22-25 August 2022.

We intend to open the registration system for discounted early-bird rates in the second half of March.

With 7 plenary talks and 42 symposia accommodating 130 invited talks and open slots for over 180 contributed talks, we are very much looking forward to this opportunity to meet in person to exchange scientific ideas, to make new connections and to renew old ones. In particular we believe that this will be important for early career researchers and PhD students, for whom the pandemic has been very disruptive.

All information is on the conference web site:

Warmest wishes,

Nicola Marzari, Psi-k 2022 Conference Chair
Peter Haynes, Chair of Trustees

Psi-k Conference 2022 – UPDATE

Dear Psi-k

We hope that you have had a good start to 2022 and are looking forward to more in-person scientific interactions this year.

In particular we have published our programme of workshops on our web site:

The highlight is of course our whole-community Psi-k Conference in August. We are very encouraged by the positive feedback from the community meeting in November and our Scientific Advisory Committee and are continuing with prudent plans to hold this Conference in person in Lausanne: 22-25 August. We will of course monitor the COVID-19 situation internationally, but at the moment the outlook appears promising in spite of the omicron variant. In particular, meeting in person will be important for the PhD students and early-career researchers in our community.

Please do keep a look out for further announcements about registration – information can be found on the conference web site:

Best wishes,

Peter Haynes
Chair of Psi-k Trustees

Nicola Marzari
Chair of Psi-k Conference 2022

Report on the Q-MS School 2021

Q-MS School 2021 Group Photo at the Lone Star Marina and Lodge, Pilot Point, Texas.

From the 11th to the 13th of October 2021 the first school on multiscale models in Quantum Espresso was held in Texas, at the Lone Star Lodge and Marina, near Pilot Point. The school welcomed 22 in person participants, with 7 instructors from 3 US institutions. More than half of the in-person participants belong to groups that are under-represented in computational physics. While the initial plan for the school was to be in person-only, due to the pandemic situation in Texas and the rules that hindered international travelers to enter the US, the school was converted into a hybrid event. More than 450 participants registered to join the school remotely, with more than 100 participants joining specific Zoom lectures. Details on the country of origin and seniority of the registered participants are summarized in the figure below.

Q-MS School 2021 attendance (virtual and in person)

All the lectures were recorded and posted on the school website, accessible at any time for registered and non-registered participants. The school was sponsored by Psi-k and the National Science Foundation (CSSI and CHE programs) under awards #1931479 and #1945139. Continue reading Report on the Q-MS School 2021

Report on the Virtual Psi-k GreenALM Hands-on Tutorial 2021

GreenALM LogoGreenALM_2021_Logos_InstitutionsThe virtual Psi-k GreenALM Hands-on Tutorial 2021 took place from Oct. 11-14, 2021 in virtual form ( It was organized by the Materials Center Leoben Forschung GmbH ( together with the team from the Vienna Scientific Cluster and Co-organizers from KTH Stockholm and Montanuniversität Leoben and was additionally funded by Psi-k and EuroCC Austria. Continue reading Report on the Virtual Psi-k GreenALM Hands-on Tutorial 2021

Recent developments in quantum Monte Carlo


QMC-RD workshop logo

Location: Rome, Italy
Dates: Oct 21-22, 2021
Organisers: Fabio Affinito, Giovanni Bachelet, Lilia Boeri, David Ceperley, Irene Iacuitto, Gaetano Senatore

With advances in algorithms and growing computing power, quantum Monte Carlo (QMC) methods have become a powerful tool for the description of a variety of quantum fluids and a viable alternative for high-accuracy calculations of the electronic structure of many atoms, molecules and solids. They are, however, at a less mature stage than today’s ready-for-use quantum-chemistry or density-functional packages: while the production of results on a variety of quantum many-body systems has been going on for at least three decades, a significant effort is still devoted to research and development of methods and algorithms, including real-time dynamics, super-accurate optimization strategies for trial wavefunctions and molecular structures, inputs for the density functional theory of van der Waals forces, and eventually neural networks which at least for small molecular systems seem to improve the accuracy of variational quantum Monte Carlo to the point where it outperforms other ab-initio quantum chemistry methods.

QMC-RD workshop group picture, Oct. 21, 2021, Rome, Italy
QMC-RD workshop group picture in front of the Enrico Fermi Research Center of via Panisperna, Rome, Italy, where the workshop was held on October 21-22, 2021.

Continue reading Recent developments in quantum Monte Carlo

Psi-k Community Meeting 2021

Dear Psi-k,

Last year the pandemic prompted us to organise the first Psi-k community meeting online, which aimed to reach a wide audience and discuss our activities and modes of engagement – from submitting proposals, to becoming involved in the community, to supporting its activities – all to help our field thrive.

The positive feedback and experience last year has encouraged us to organise another meeting as an open webinar on Zoom on Friday 26 November 2021 at 2pm CET – this is Central European Time (you can translate it here:; hopefully convenient for many, and with apologies to those for whom it is not.

The webinar link, that you are also welcome to share, is:

The Psi-k Trustees will be present, and a short presentation will provide an update on developments over the last year and preview of future plans, notably the Psi-k Conference, which we expect to be held in person in Lausanne, 22-25 August 2022. This will be followed by Q&A and discussion that I hope will be as lively and constructive as last year.

I very much look forward to sharing our news and discussing our plans with you.

Peter Haynes (Psi-k Chair)

Ab initio (from electronic structure) calculation of complex processes in materials