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Back to Research-Based Educational Programs Wolfram Emerging Leaders Program

The Wolfram Emerging Leaders Program: Undergraduate (WELP:U) is a remote, year-long program designed for exceptional graduates from the Wolfram High School Summer Research Program or Wolfram Summer School who are currently attending university as an undergraduate student.

WELP:U students are supported as they work on an independent project, which might be based on doing research or on developing software. Projects are directed by the students and supported by their peers and mentors.

Need-based financial aid is available.

What You'll Learn

During WELP:U, you will go through the entire product development cycle from brainstorming a potential project, to creating a minimum viable product, to iterating on your idea, to producing an interesting and worthwhile project.

Research Skills

As you work on your computational essay, you will dive deep into your subject area, developing research skills and discovering new knowledge. You will learn how to present your findings—in writing, in code and in visualizations—as well as how to formulate, investigate and defend a thesis.

Design Thinking

WELP:U is structured around the steps of the design thinking process, a process that inspires intellectual curiosity and embraces iteration. At the start of the program, you will attend design thinking skills workshops, where you will learn to ideate, iterate and implement projects.

Computational Thinking

Computational thinking—the ability to translate complex thoughts into computable concepts—is a core part of WELP:U. You will learn how to express your thoughts in a systematic and clear enough way that a computer can understand them, while also learning how to structure your approach to problem solving.

Independent Thinking in a Collaborative Environment

At WELP:U, you will complete your own independent research project supported by a research group of three to five peers exploring similar or related projects to your own. These groups are hand selected to both support and challenge each member, and you will meet regularly to focus and direct yourselves toward your individual end goals.

You will also develop skills independently, especially as you learn and generate specialized knowledge in your own field.

What You'll Do

Conduct Independent Research

You will complete a project of your own design, culminating in writing a computational essay. At the Wolfram Emerging Leaders Program: High School (WELP:HS), past topics have included developing a non-deterministic, localized model of disease spread, visualizing topic progression in a text, using hexagonal cellular automata to model flooding, simulating political change using idea blocking, and reading and playing sheet music, spanning subject matter from math to biology to physics to social science to arts and humanities.

The ultimate goal of the project is to dive deep into your chosen interest and create a visually stunning, interactive piece of work that combines text, code and visualizations. This work will be sharable with prospective graduate schools and employers, and we will support you in seeking to publish your research.

Explore Wolfram Research

WELP:U students will meet with key members of the Wolfram Research team to learn about their work both in and outside of their jobs. In the past, we have spent time with members of the linguistics, math and education teams, learning about innovations they've made in their fields, as well as the day-to-day tasks of working at Wolfram.

Experience Professional Growth

We want to support you as you make challenging decisions about your future academic- and career-related goals. You will have the opportunity to talk through graduate school decisions, subject specialization choices and summer activities with trusted advisors and engage in professional development activities both individually and as a group.

Network with Peers

Your peers are your best resource. Outside of your research group, you will meet virtually with the full cohort for social activities, including for games, challenges and social mixers. You will also have the opportunity to hang out with your favorite mentors from the Wolfram Summer Programs and get to know students from WELP:HS.

WELP:U participants who are interested in mentoring younger students will be matched with eager and engaged high-school students from WELP:HS.


Successful graduates from WELP:U are invited to become Mentors at the Wolfram High School Summer Research Program. Mentoring at the program is an amazing experience and a great opportunity to share your knowledge and passion with the next generation of talented youth. For those who prefer to work with older students, there are also Teaching Assistant positions available for the Wolfram Summer School.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition for one year of WELP:U is $4000 and includes all you need to be successful in the program.

WELP:U runs for a full academic year, and this cost includes a two-year subscription to Wolfram|One; a two-year subscription to Wolfram|Alpha Pro; robust mentorship and support during the project development process; classes on design thinking, research methods, academic writing, etc.; interactions with key employees at Wolfram; guidance on future education choices; a certificate of completion; and a letter explaining the program to prospective employers and educational institutions.

Financial aid is available for students who demonstrate financial need.

What Happens After WELP:U

After you graduate from WELP:U, you will be eligible to apply to be a Mentor at the Wolfram High School Summer Research Program or a Teaching Assistant at the Wolfram Summer School, and any applications you submit for an internship or job at Wolfram Research will be fast tracked.

Take the First Step

Admission to WELP:U is dependent on performance at the Wolfram High School Summer Research Program or Wolfram Summer School. Top undergraduate students from these competitive programs are invited to apply for a place at WELP:U.

Students interested in joining WELP program should apply for the Wolfram High School Summer Research Program or Wolfram Summer School and attend in the summer before they intend to take part in WELP.

Apply for the Wolfram High School Summer Research Program Apply for the Wolfram Summer School