Frequently Asked Questions
When and where is the Summer School held?
The Summer School will be held at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts, from June 18–July 7, 2017.
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 the Wolfram Language. At the end of the Summer 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 $1,700.
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. 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.
Who is the Science track for?
It's intended for anyone who wants to be able to do Wolfram Science 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 Wolfram Science research project, which will be at least the beginning of material suitable for a published paper.
What preparation is needed?
Students should have a working knowledge of the Wolfram Language, which is used as the primary tool at the Summer School. All students are strongly suggested to have read A New Kind of Science at least once. Under special circumstances, arrangements can be made for students to take an online class in Mathematica, the software based on the Wolfram Language, 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.
Wolfram Technology & Innovation
Who is the Technology & Innovation track for?
It's intended for anyone interested in developing innovative ideas and implementing them with technology. We expect students to be technology savvy, but they can be at various stages in their formal education or careers. We expect college and graduate students, as well as early- and mid-career individuals ready to energetically pursue innovation. We encourage entrepreneurs to apply.
Is the Innovation track an incubator program?
Our goal at the Summer School is to help students learn how to develop innovative ideas and implement them with technology. We expect students will often use their knowledge in entrepreneurial business activities, and for students who are interested, mentoring on business issues will be available.
Wolfram Education Innovation
Who is the Education Innovation track for?
It is intended for individuals who want to make a difference in education by taking what they learn about developing educational materials and products with the Wolfram Language and helping to make programming in education accessible to everyone. This track is suited to educators, people studying education, and individuals with experience in education technology.