SPARC is a two-week summer program for extraordinary high school students, held each year, usually in August at UC Berkeley. See http://sparc-camp.org/ for the latest information about each year’s program.
What is SPARC like? Most SPARC students have ranked in the top 50 in the USA on mathematics competitions, or performed comparably in other competitive disciplines like computer science, physics, or biology, placing them in the top 0.001% of the population in their abilities. SPARC encourages these amazing young people to apply their quantitative thinking skills to understanding their own lives, their abilities, and how they can improve the world.
For instance, at SPARC students learn Bayesian statistics, which can be used to identify genetic factors of diseases, improve the quality of digital communications, and model the meanings of words. Students also learn about the microeconomic concepts of fungibility and value of information, and how they can be used to make practical decisions.
Perhaps most importantly, SPARC students are surrounded by a community of other highly talented students, junior counselors, and instructors. And, to make sure that we really do get the best participants possible, SPARC is completely free to all admitted students.
SPARC maintains its own website at http://sparc-camp.org/, where you can apply if you’re an interested student. Check it out!