Princeton Summer Programming Experiences (SPE)


Princeton Students,


If the answers to these questions are yes, then the Summer Programming Experiences program may be just right for you! Stay on campus for six weeks from June 12, 2017 to July 21, 2017 and gain programming experience by working on a creative and substantive project of your own choice, in a supportive, fun, and enriching environment, with the regular guidance of a faculty or graduate student mentor. The Computer Science Department sponsors this summer program with the goal of providing novice programmers an opportunity to become better computer scientists, and the confidence and hands-on experience to thrive in more advanced computer science courses. We expect to have approximately 8–12 participants in the program, typically working in groups of two.

Informational meeting. To learn more, please join us for an informal dinner in the Mathey Private Dining Room 6–7pm on Wednesday, April 5, 2017. Please email Kevin (wayne@cs) if you are planning to come.

Housing. Financial aid is provided to all participants to pay for a Princeton University summer housing contract plus a stipend of approximately $250 per week. In return, we expect a real commitment from you, and you should plan to devote your full effort (40 hours per week) to the program. The Summer 2017 housing application is due at 4:30pm on Monday April 24, 2017.

Application. The application deadline is Friday, April 7, 2017. We especially encourage women and under-represented minorities to apply; historically, over half of our participants have been women. We'll make admission decisions in time so that you can meet the summer housing deadline.


Q + A

Who can I contact to learn more about the summer program? Please email Kevin Wayne (wayne@cs) if you have a quick question or stop by his office (CS 207) if you have several.

Can you give me an idea of some past projects? Projects vary greatly, but many recent ones have involved mobile apps. Past projects include: Princeton campus tour app, voting machine analyzer, 3D computer graphics, skeet shooting game, fractal explorer, juggling simulator, pricebot, JPEG image compression, network checkers, economics simulator, text twist word game, RSA cryptosystem, music synthesis, Safari Tetris, computational biology, data compression, South Park Snood, and a billiards simulator.

What programming language will I use? We strongly recommend either Java or C, since these offer the best preparation for COS 217 and COS 226.

I'm not a Princeton student. Can I still apply? Sorry, the program is available only to current Princeton students.

Where will I work over the summer? The Friend Center computer labs. They have excellent equipment, comfy chairs, and air-conditioning. In addition, the lab provides a rich social atmosphere for participants to get to know one another.

Can I use my own laptop? Yes, but you still need to work in the Friend Center lab.

What do I do for food? You are on your own for meals. Some of the dorms have kitchens. You can also purchase a meal plan with Dining Services.

My financial aid package expects me to have a summer job and save money toward my school year expenses. Does this mean I cannot participate in the Summer Programming Experience? The financial aid office makes summer savings replacement aid available to any student who falls short. The replacement aid may include up to 50% of the shortfall in grant money. These programs will help make the summer experience more affordable for students receiving financial aid.

What do participants go on to do after the SPE? Almost everyone continues on with coursework in computer science. Most students choose computer science as a major or certificate.