Logic for All
Tools
for
Thought
 

High School Summer Camp, Stanford University, June 15 - June 26

Hermione Granger got it right when, facing the potion-master's test, she said: "This isn't magic - it's logic - a puzzle. A lot of the greatest wizards haven't got an ounce of logic; they'd be stuck here forever." - Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone

 

WHY LOGIC?

Logic is fundamental in almost all aspects of your life.

  • What you do. Computer science, mathematics, the natural sciences, the social sciences, the humanities, the arts, medicine, law all require you to read, write, and think critically.

  • What you believe. Advertisers, politicians, companies, and organizations, your friends, family, and experts in a field - all at some time want you to buy their products, vote for them, or support what they believe and want to do. Logic helps you spot the hype, the nonsense, who is wrong and who is right.

  • How you think and communicate. You use the language of logic to state observations, define concepts, and form theories. You use reason to reach conclusions and solve problems all the time. You use logic to explain your thoughts to others.

"Whether I am on a soccer field or at a robotics competition, I face a lot of situations where logic is necessary to make decisions."

"I have always loved puzzles and math and like to solve challenging problems."

"Math classes aren't the only classes that require logic; In AP United States History I am often called upon to recognize patterns and cycles spanning over four centuries, while in English classes I need to write persuasive essays by reasoning through source material and supporting my theses."

WHY THIS CAMP?

  • Instructors. An award-winning high school teacher and a Stanford Computer Science professor (who literally wrote the book on Logic).

  • Limited Enrollment. Since we're targeting registration of just 24 students, you will benefit from individual attention and small class size.

  • Immersive Schedule: Weekdays 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM PDT from June 15 through June 26.

  • Engaging Classes & Fun Course Materials. You'll be challenged with a schedule rich in engaging lectures, team and individual exercises, projects, puzzles, and games, along with special events and guests.

  • Diversity. In order to ensure diversity, we work actively to engage underrepresented minorities (including financial aid where needed). Click here for more information about Stanford's various equity and inclusion initiatives.

"The most important ideas and skills I learned during the summer camp were how to talk intelligently and how to act in an environment of other intelligent people while talking about advanced topics."

"I feel that this course in logic is appealing to me not only because it is fundamental to the field that I wish to pursue once I'm in college (i.e. computer science) , but also because it appears to be oriented towards practical logic and reasoning."

"The walks with the instructors were extremely valuable for everyone! Walking with them gave us time to really talk in a more casual setting -- we got to know them and see them as people, instead of just instructors."

CONTENT

Learning logic is like learning a foreign language, only easier, more useful, and more fun. You'll discover that on Day 1 when you realize that you've been trying to think clearly about lots of things over the years and didn't have the training to do it well. The classes in Logic Is Fundamental summer camp provide that training. In the end, you'll learn a way of thinking so powerful that you'll be able to solve all kinds of problems - including these - with ease.

FOREIGN POLICY INVASION PUZZLE: The world has two types of nations: strong and weak. If a strong nation invades a weak nation, it will annex the weak nation (and become bigger) but it will itself become weak for some period of time. Strong nations never try to invade other strong nations. A weak nation can be invaded by only one strong nation. If more than one strong nation chooses to invade a weak nation, the strong nations flip a coin to determine who may invade. Each nation wants to be as big as possible, but nations do NOT want to be invaded; they would rather stay the same size than be annexed. Assume that the leaders of all the nations are completely rational. There are five strong nations and one weak nation. Will the weak nation be invaded? Explain why or why not.

SAFECRACKING PUZZLE: There is a combination safe with four switches on the front, each with three positions (low, medium, and high). If the switches are set into an opening combination, then when you try to open the safe, it will open; otherwise, no dice. In general, there are 3^4 = 81 possible combinations. However, this is a cheap safe; and only two of the switches actually matter; if you set those two switches right, the safe will open. Unfortunately, you do not know which are the important switches or which positions work. What is the minimum number of combinations you must try that will *guarantee* to open the safe? What is your plan?

TEACHERS

Chris Lee Kuszmaul is the lead teacher of Computer Science and Engineering at Palo Alto High School. He is also head coach of the World Champion Paly Zero Robotics team, is a former Senior Research Scientist at NASA, and is the only credenialed teacher who holds a 6th degree black belt in Aikido.
Michael Genesereth is a professor in the Computer Science Department at Stanford University. He is best known for his work on computational logic and its applications in enterprise computing, computational law, and general game playing. He has taught logic for 30 years at Stanford and offers an annual massive open online course, or MOOC, on logic. Professor Genesereth directs the Logic Group at Stanford and is the founder and research director of CodeX (The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics). He is also an avid sailor and a private pilot.

ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible for the course, students must be:

  • enrolled in grade 9, 10, 11, or 12 in the Fall 2020
  • comfortable with symbolic manipulation as taught in introductory Algebra
  • familiar with basic set theory, including set notation, union, intersection, complement

Each student must have a computer or tablet with access to the Internet, a recent version of Safari or Chrome or Firefox, and a recent version of Zoom (available for free at http://zoom.us).

FEES

Tuition for the two week camp (10 weekdays total) is $1,500. (Laptops or tablets are required but are not provided.) Limited financial aid is available and is awarded (based on family need) to eligible students who would not otherwise be able to attend the camp.

DEADLINES

Application for Logic Is Fundamental must be completed by May 31, 2020. Admission to this camp is on a rolling basis with a target of 24 students. Though we've established May 31, 2020 as the cutoff date for applying, we will review application forms as soon as they are filed; and we will continue to review them until we fill all the available places. We encourage you to apply early so that you won't be waitlisted.


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