FAQ

What is a typical day at SPARC like?
We have four to five hours of classes or activities each day, and an invited speaker each evening. In between, students talk with each other and with instructors and relax.

Classes last about an hour, and are taught in groups of 6-8 students. Most classes are discussion-based, though some are more traditional lectures and others are centered on exercises.

What is taught at SPARC?
It’s easier to show than tell, but topics at SPARC include:

  • Probability theory, information theory, the mathematics of rationality
  • Fermi estimation, statistical street fighting, risk and power laws
  • Microeconomics, prediction markets, game theory
  • Effective communication, improvisation, posture, negotiation
  • Regression, graphical models, causal modeling
  • Motivation and intention, deliberate practice, cognitive biases

How do I apply?
The application for SPARC 2017 is due on March 1, 2017, and is available here. If you have any questions, feel free to email us at apply@sparc-camp.org.

Should I apply to SPARC if I don’t know [X]?
Yes. The SPARC curriculum mostly requires curiosity, thoughtfulness, and a sharp mind. The mathematical requirement can be challenging but is not the basis for the entire application. Some classes are taught in several tracks to accommodate students’ varying backgrounds.

How many people will be accepted?
SPARC will admit about 30 students.

Who is eligible to apply?
You are eligible to apply if you are in high school, or if you are at least 14 years of age and not yet enrolled in college. If you do not meet these criteria but would still like to come, please e-mail us at contact@sparc-camp.org to discuss exceptions. International students are welcome.

How much does the camp cost?
In order to attract the best students possible, SPARC is completely free. In particular, boarding and food is provided.

Need-based scholarships to cover the cost of travel are also available (you’ll have the chance to apply for one if you’re admitted to SPARC).

When and where will the camp be held?
SPARC will be held in the San Francisco Bay Area from August 6 – 17, with students arriving the evening of the 6th and leaving on the morning of the 17th. If you have to leave before the morning of the 17th, you can apply and let us know that in your application; depending on your situation we may be able to make an exception.

Have a question that wasn’t answered here? E-mail us at contact@sparc-camp.org.