If you are a pre-college or college student here are some of the things we will do:
There will be two common and parallel threads through it all. The first will be learning the Wolfram Language (what people often refer to as Mathematica but in fact it is the language behind Mathematica) and in learning that you will learn a bunch of things:
- Aspects of programming aimed at broadly exploring open ended problems
- How to explore whatever you are curious about with a rich set of computational and visualization tools
- How to problem solve and perform research by just diving into a problem and seeing where it leads
- How to investigate questions that may have no clear answer–just the way the professionals do
Though that last item may sound a little silly, I do mean it with a large dose of seriousness. It's actually what a practicing scientist, engineer, mathematician, (or linguist, statistician, computational visualization algorithm designer, and so on and so on...) do in their day to day work. It's a sort of directed play: find what's fascinating to you and bring tools to it that let you dive in and explore all the "what ifs" that come to mind.
So this brings us to thread 2. The idea in all of this is that, as we learn Mathematica together, we come up with one or more research projects that are fascinating to you–projects can be simple or more complex, and that will evolve as we go along. And we tailor the exploration of Mathematica (there is so much stuff in Mathematica that indeed we need to learn how to explore it) to making progress in your research projects. We may start out with one idea for a research project and that may change as we learn more about it and its "what ifs" as well as we learn more useful tools from Mathematica (or make ones ourselves as we need to, programming them in the Wolfram Language). But we will set real goals and make new ones as we reach the ones we set.
An example of the sort of thing we may aim for is to create one or more "demonstrations" to submit to the Wolfram Demonstrations Project. Take a look through some of these to get a sense of the wide variety of what can be done: http://demonstrations.wolfram.com. And to see what some high school students accomplish at the Mathematica Summer Camp during their intensive two week session, take a look at some of their demonstrations at http://wolfr.am/1rHDWF4.
Other possibilities may have to do with what is going on in your current schooling. Perhaps there's a science or math fair coming up that you want to develop ideas for. Or perhaps you simply want to have the ability to explore deeper in the classes you are currently taking–math, physics, biology, chemistry, pathology, economics, architecture, grammar and language (yes, I am serious), and so on. Or perhaps you want to enhance a hobby. The possibilities are wide open.
Another area that you can explore is the computational universe as described in Wolfram's A New Kind of Science–there's a huge number of new ideas that you can explore there.
So, there's no limit. Let's get started. We will do interesting things from the start, and you will learn tools and skills that you will be using for decades to come.
To get some sense of what the Wolfram Language capable of, take a look at Stephen Wolfram's recent–very quick–overview of the Wolfram Language**: