When and where is the Summer School held?
Though the location for the 2014 Summer School hasn't yet been determined, in the past we've held schools in Providence, Rhode Island; Burlington, Vermont; Pisa, Italy; and Boston, Massachusetts.
Who is the Summer School for?
It's intended for anyone who wants to be able to do NKS research projects. We expect students to be ready to do an independent research project, but they can be at various stages in their formal education. We typically have graduate students, undergraduates, postdocs, and a few professors, teachers, and professionals.
What happens at the Summer School?
It's a mixture of lectures, individual interactions with instructors, and a project. Each student is expected to do a substantial NKS research project, which will be at least the beginning of material suitable for a published paper.
What preparation is needed?
All students are expected to have read A New Kind of Science at least once. Students should also have a working knowledge of Mathematica, which is used as the primary tool at the Summer School. Under special circumstances, arrangements can be made for students to take an online Mathematica class before the Summer School.
Does the Summer School cater only to scientists?
No. Our students have also included engineers, artists, and educators. What's needed is an ability to take a rigorous scientific approach and an ability to absorb material of the type that is in the NKS book.
Are there age limits for Summer School students?
No. We have had a few exceptional high-school-age students, as well as a few energetic individuals late in their career.
What is involved in doing a project at the Summer School?
Students are each assigned a project mentor. Projects almost invariably involve computer experiments, programmed in Mathematica. At the end of the school, students present their projects individually.
How are the projects at the Summer School chosen?
Projects are chosen to fit the career and educational objectives of each student. Students are encouraged to think about potential projects before the Summer School (see projects from past years for some suggestions). Final projects are chosen during the first week of the Summer School, in consultation with Stephen Wolfram and with the student's mentor.
What is Stephen Wolfram's involvement in the Summer School?
The school is set up so that every student has an opportunity to interact with Stephen Wolfram. Stephen Wolfram usually does one or two individual meetings with each student, works on picking projects, participates in many group discussions, and offers ongoing suggestions about projects. He also gives lectures on strategic topics and attends student presentations.
What language is used at the Summer School?
The Summer School is in English, including all instruction, workshops, exercises, and homework.
How long is the Summer School?
The school is three weeks long. Students need to attend for the whole duration.
How much does the Summer School cost?
The Summer School itself is free—there is no tuition fee. In the past, dorm-style accommodations and meal plans for the three-week session have cost about $1,500. Students who wish to commute to the school have paid commuter fees for facilities of around $100.
Is financial support available for the Summer School?
There is no stipend available. In a few cases of exceptional need, grants may be available to help pay expenses. In the future, some additional funding may be available.
Do I need to have a computer?
Every student at the Summer School needs to bring a reliable laptop. Windows, Macintosh, and Linux operating systems are all acceptable. Built-in wireless networking capability is required. Software for computation and collaboration at the Summer School will be provided.
What criteria are used in selecting students?
We're looking for people for whom the Summer School can really make a difference and can help launch them into doing important work in an NKS direction. We like to see evidence of an ability to carry out a project to a high level of quality.
Have any Summer School students gone on to work for Wolfram Research?
Yes, some of our most talented attendees have been offered positions at Wolfram Research.