SPARC 2019 First Round Application
SPARC 2019 will run from July 24 to August 2 at California State University, East Bay. We can make accommodations on a case-by-case basis if you cannot attend the full program.
Email address *
Due date:
* This application is due by March 1, 2019 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time.

* This application is for students who have never attended SPARC before; students who have attended SPARC in the past should have received a separate application.
* You are welcome to apply if you are currently in high school or have not finished your first year as an undergraduate (i.e. college freshmen are eligible to apply). In general, we expect to mostly accept students who are in at least 11th grade of high school. Younger students are welcome to apply, but if you are not accepted this year, we encourage you to apply in future years.
* Traditionally, we admit students with a strong background in quantitative disciplines. But, we also consider students with skills and interests in other fields, as broadening the horizons of our students is one of the aims of our program.

* PLEASE CHECK that we have view access to any external documents (e.g. Google Docs, Dropbox) that you link.
* This application is on google form and will not save your progress. We recommend that you draft your responses elsewhere before submitting.

Hearing back from us:
* PLEASE CHECK that you've listed a valid email address. This is how we will contact you later about updates!
* You should receive a final decision from us no later than April 2, 2019.

Basic Information
Full Name *
Your answer
Birthday *
Gender *
Current School *
Your answer
Graduation Year *
Awards and Accomplishments *
List up to 5 awards or accomplishments that you are proud of. For each item, feel free to include a description, or links, that might help us understand it better.
Your answer
(Optional) Link to your favorite work sample
You are welcome to submit one project sample that you think will *significantly* add to your application. If you've already described it in the accomplishments section, you can skip this question. Examples: research paper, video link, github repository, app, blog post. Please do not use this question to link us to résumés, certifications, press, etc.
Your answer
Technical Question
* Answer 1 of the 2 questions below.
* Since these problems are pretty open ended, you may have to narrow the scope and choose your favorite subproblem to answer. Tell us what assumptions you make. Your answer may involve such things as proposing models, creating a measure of how well your strategy works, running simulations, and/or giving proofs.

Collaboration Policy:
* Don't.

* It would help our readers to have the main points of your solution highlighted in some way. If this is not an option, giving us a quick outline or summary in the beginning of your solution would be helpful.
* You may provide a URL to an external document, but if you do so, please make sure that we have permission to view it, otherwise we will not be able to evaluate your application.

Recommended length:
* 1 - 2 pages. We will not read anything beyond 5 pages.

Question 1A (choose one of 1A and 1B)
You are moving to a new city for 1000 weeks. There are G gas stations around town, which are all equally convenient and might charge different prices. Every week, you can visit exactly one gas station to note the price for that station that week. The price of gas at each gas station may vary from week to week. Give a strategy or process you would use to try to minimize your total cost over all 1000 weeks. We intentionally left the number of gas stations, G, variable; assume that you know the value of G upon moving to the city. Feel free to choose value(s) of G that make the problem most interesting to you.
Your answer
Question 1B (choose one of 1A and 1B)
You and your N friends play a game to decide who is the luckiest. All of you start with C coins. Every turn, anyone with at least one coin puts a single coin into a pile, and one person who put a coin in the pile is, uniformly at random, chosen to take the entire pile. The game ends when one person has all of the coins. What is the expected number of turns it takes for this game to end, in terms of N and C? Optionally, what else can you say about this game?
Your answer
Reflective Question
* Answer 1 of the 2 questions below.
* Answer these questions honestly, rather than writing what you think we might like to read. We value your real thoughts and opinions over some notion of "correctness".
* We are equally interested in the answer you give and the reasoning behind your answer.

* You may provide a URL to an external document, but if you do so, please make sure that we have permission to view it, otherwise we will not be able to evaluate your application.

Recommended length:
* Up to 400 words. We will not read beyond 800 words.

Question 2A (choose one of 2A and 2B)
Your friend recently struck it rich. She wants to give away $5 million towards making cool things happen in the world, and has asked you to be her fund manager. How do you want to spend it? Please share your reasoning with us.
Your answer
Question 2B (choose one of 2A and 2B)
Whom do you have a lot of trouble communicating with? Why do you think this happens? You may find it helpful to think about the following additional prompts: What do you have difficulty talking to them about? Why do other people not run into the same difficulties as you? What could you do in the future to improve communication?
Your answer
(Optional) Short Answer Questions
These questions are strictly optional and are not considered as part of your application. Have fun with them!
Write an original one-sentence story.
Your answer
Choose a number between 0 and 100, inclusive, that is as close as possible to the standard deviation of numbers chosen by those who participate in this question.
Please submit your answer as a number, not a mathematical expression, with fewer than 3 decimal places.
Your answer
Recommend us one piece of quality content.
Book, Article, Video, Podcast episode, Website, etc.
Your answer
Tell us a cool fact.
Your answer
How did you hear about SPARC? *
Your answer
Additional comments
If you need to elaborate on any of your previous answers, or share some other important detail, you may do so here.
Your answer
Thanks for applying!
We may contact you for further steps in the application.
A copy of your responses will be emailed to the address you provided.
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