Open online course on computational materials physics

A free and open online course about Computational Materials Physics is available from Ghent University. You can take this course in sync with our weekly feedback webinars (Sep 24 - Dec 10), or you can take it self-paced at any time of the year.

The target audience is people with no prior knowledge about DFT, who want to have a hands-on introduction. At the end of the course, students will be able to read papers that report about DFT results, and they will be able to make basic calculations with an open source DFT code. A general science education is sufficient as background knowledge. The approach is conceptual and hands-on, not mathematical.

The course follows a weekly pace, with the following structure:

  • Watching a set of prerecorded lecture videos about the topic of the week
  • Solving tasks related to these videos – in most cases, there is immediate automated or peer feedback after submitting the task
  • Questions about the lectures and tasks can be submitted at any time, and students can answer the questions of others
  • Unresolved issues will be dealt with in a weekly feedback webinar that is livestreamed (Sep-Dec). A video of the webinars remains available for those who cannot watch them live.

As an optional part, students can work in teams on a project. During the final webinar, the teams present their work.

The course website is at Note that the site is still under slight revision right now. Students will find each section being ready once the local edition of the course gets there in the coming weeks.

Students from Flemish universities can take this course as a regular course in their program, for 6 ECTS points. For students not affiliated to a Flemish university, taking part in this course happens on an voluntary basis – unless your university agrees to give you credit for it (feel free to contact me if I can help about that). In any case, an inofficial letter confirming one's participation can be provided after completion.

All exercises are described for Quantum Espresso. The format is such, however, that similar instructions can be seamlessly added for other DFT codes. The goal toward which this course should evolve is a code-independent course on the basics of DFT and materials physics, with practical exercises described for any of the mainstream DFT codes on the market.


Follow @tyc_london for updates from the Thomas Young Centre.