Santa Fe Institute

Summer Complexity and Modeling Program (CAMP)

July 13 - July 25, 2014

Offered at Groton School, Groton, Massachusetts


For nearly 30 years, the Santa Fe Institute has challenged and equipped the next generation’s brightest scholars to take on complex problems through schools, fellowships, and youth educational curricula serving students and educators of all ages and backgrounds. SFI Complexity Scholarship programs include instruction by, and interaction with, SFI scientists. Complexity scholars trained at the Santa Fe Institute are working to understand the theoretical foundations and patterns underlying the systems most critical to our future -- economies, ecosystems, conflict, disease, human social institutions, and the global condition.

This intensive two-week residential science Summer CAMP introduces participants to complexity science scholarship. Through individual projects, computer simulation activities, analysis of ecological data, lectures and seminars, along with related weekend activities, students conduct research in this cutting edge field. Days are made up of instruction, small working group sessions, and research time interleaved with sports and extra-curricular events.

The Summer CAMP broadens students’ scientific horizons, and accelerates both academic and personal development by immersing them in a supportive community of scholars, teaching them how to create and analyze computer models, and introducing them to the challenges and rewards of independent scientific research. The academic program is demanding: lectures and curricula in complexity science, collection and analysis of ecological data, mathematics, and computer programming are taught at the college level. Each student will receive a high-level of personal attention from program instructors. At the conclusion of the CAMP, students will present their work and, if appropriate, develop a plan for continuation throughout the school year.

The faculty team for the science Summer CAMP is headed by David H. Black, Jr., holder of the Geoffrey deC. Gund 1960 Teaching Chair at Groton. David is joined by a transdisciplinary team of complexity scholar/teachers from the SFI community.

The Partners

SFI and Groton School make a provocative educational partnership. To fully understand complex adaptive systems, with their deep interdependencies and emergent behaviors at many scales, a new kind of science is needed, one that relies on the synthesis of many scientific perspectives. One that unravels today’s most complex problems with revolutionary theories derived both from careful observation of real-world phenomena and proven scientific principles. Complexity Scholarship began at the Santa Fe Institute. Since 1984 the most creative minds in science have gathered here to expand the boundaries of science in an inclusive but scientifically rigorous research community. More than 150 leading scientists from around the world are affiliated with SFI today.

Groton School 

Groton School provides a remarkable academic and residential setting for this program. Groton is a private college preparatory school located in Massachusetts. It enrolls approximately 350 boys and girls from the eighth through twelfth grade with students coming from across the country and around the world. In late 2007, the Wall Street Journal listed Groton School as one of the world's top 50 schools for its success in preparing students to enter top American universities. Currently, Groton is one of three secondary boarding schools in the country to offer free education to qualified students from families with household incomes below $75,000 a year. Housing is on the Groton campus in double or triple occupancy dormitory rooms with shared bathrooms. Each dorm houses approximately 20 students and each has a residential coordinator or residential family who provide structure and oversight. Groton's 400-acre campus includes fields and woodlands as well as academic buildings and dormitories. The landscape was designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who is noted for his design of  Central Park in New York City and various other academic institutions. For more information, please see

To Apply

Tuition for the program is $2,500 inclusive of participation, course materials, accommodations and meals. Assistance is available for about 35% of the student body. Students are responsible for their travel costs. A limited number of scholarships are available based on need.

The program accepts applications from current high school students.  The Complexity and Modeling Program (CAMP) does not discriminate in admissions on the basis of gender, race, color, citizenship, national or ethnic origin. Young women and traditionally under-represented minority students are especially encouraged to apply.


We will be accepting applications beginning November 1, 2013. Applications must be completed by April 21, 2014

More information about the Complexity and Modeling Program can be found on our wikifacebook page, and our CAMP blog.

If you have specific questions, please contact or (505) 946-2726

Previous Schools:

2013: Groton, Massachusetts  ; 2013 Proceedings

2011: Groton, Massachusetts 2011 Proceedings

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