Attending the Wolfram Summer School 2019 in Boston, MA

Last July, I attended the very competitive three weeks Wolfram Summer School, in Boston, MA. It is a very high passed introduction to functional and high-level programming, using the Wolfram Language (WL).

The first thing I noticed about the Wolfram Summer School was the diversity of participants. There was a huge range, from 15-year-old young geniuses up to University deans and big industry names attending. The school provided a great network opportunity, which I used to learn about everyone’s work and ideas, while I also shared aspects of my research.
Stephen Wolfram, the CEO of Wolfram Technologies, was actively involved in the School giving several lectures. He also provided us with the opportunity to participate in company meetings. As a result, I got to experience first hand how the company is being managed, and have a say in it.  We also had discussions about current world issues, like the AI Constitution Convention (for which Stephen testified at the US Senate afterwards).
The School lectures covered a wide range of topics: software development, data analysis, machine learning, HPC, teaching with the WL, blockchain technologies and many others. Furthermore, each student, following discussions with Stephen Wolfram, was assigned a project and a mentor to work with.  My project dealt with building an error explorer function for the Wolfram Language. That is, to write a function that given a syntactically wrong Wolfram Expression, will return a list of suggestions on how to fix it. The project was a success. As a result,  was asked to continue working on it, so that, in the future, it will be implemented in the front end of the Wolfram Language. On the last day, each of the participants had a two-minute presentation about their project and afterwards, a poster session was organised.
All things considered, attending the Wolfram Summer School was an inspiring experience for me. I return home with a large arsenal of new skills, I socialised with outstanding people and got to contribute to the development of a modern programming language. I am very grateful for that opportunity and would suggest it to everyone who wants a glimpse about how the future of computation looks like.
Categories: Go Abroad Fund, North America, USA

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