by Silver Beach

Weekly guided tours through foundational and cutting-edge research

Every field of research today is the product of decades of ideas, theories, and empirical work that are catalogued, discussed, and debated via research papers. This published material is what allows today's researchers to stand on the shoulders of their predecessors from all over the world, but the sheer volume and complexity of it, the often opaque terminology and unstated assumptions, and the lack of a clear starting point for exploration can all make the process of reading and engaging with research (in order to do new research) daunting to the uninitiated, especially people outside traditional graduate academia who don't have access to people who spend time guiding them through the maze.

With Sessions, we want to change that. Each hour-long Session, with a maximum of 12 participants, is a guided exploration and group discussion of one particular influential, fundamental, or cutting-edge publication in a particular field. Every Session is led by a scholar with years of experience in that field who will teach you how to decipher the core ideas of that publication by illuminating background literature, setting the work in its historical and substantive context, and answering the many questions that will inevitably arise along the way.

Sessions come in Tracks, each of which is an ongoing, neverending series of weekly Sessions focusing on a particular field of research. We are starting with a track on Deep Learning but will soon launch tracks on Programming Languages, mRNA Pharmaceuticals, Information Theory, Distributed Systems, Robot Navigation, Experimental Social Science, and Developmental Economics.

You can join just one Session or (depending on availability of slots) keep going along a given Track for months at a time -- it's totally up to you. Sessions are $15 each, but each Track has at least three fully-funded scholarship slots at any time, which are allocated on a monthly basis by application.

The Silver Beach Institute was founded to open up pathways for people outside traditional academia who want to do original research. We've organized research courses in astrophysics and genomics run and attended by scholars from Harvard, Yale, Stanford, MIT, and Ashoka University.


We've started enrolling for our Deep Learning track!

If you're waiting for the other tracks, put your email down below and we'll let you know when we start enrolling.