Cognito Mentoring

If you’re a student seeking intellectual stimulation, the resources on this website might be helpful to you.

You love learning. You spend a lot of time reading fiction or learning about science or solving math problems or all of the above. School doesn’t meet your intellectual needs. Classes often emphasize rote memorization of disjointed collections of facts. You only know a few people who you can talk about ideas with. You wish you had more, and you wish you had better perspective on what there is to learn and how best to learn it.

This website can help you solve your problem.

We have very broad intellectual interests, cutting across topics such as economics, pure math, psychology, humanitarian issues and classical music. We’ve researched the educational resources that are available to high performing students, college selection and college admissions, psychological findings on intellectual giftedness, and the experiences of people who are or were in your situation, and written up our findings and recommendations here. Our resources, including our information wiki and our blog archives, will guide you on:

  • The most important things to learn
  • Study skills
  • Books & online learning resources
  • College admissions
  • Choosing a college
  • Summer programs
  • Extracurricular activities

NOTE: Between December 2013 and May 15, 2014, we offered free detailed personalized advising. We no longer offer detailed personalized advising. We discuss our transition away from offering personalized advising in this blog post.

Jonah Sinick graduated from Swarthmore College in 2007, and finished a PhD in pure math at University of Illinois in 2011. He taught precalculus and multivariable calculus at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology and taught for Art of Problem Solving. He worked as a research analyst at GiveWell, an organization that works on finding outstanding philanthropic opportunities in global health and other causes. He’s done research for Machine Intelligence Research Institute, an organization that promotes safe artificial intelligence.

Vipul Naik  finished a PhD in pure math at University of Chicago in 2013. He represented India at the International Mathematical Olympiad in 2003 and 2004, and won Silver Medals both times. He has experience preparing students for mathematical olympiads. He started a website called Groupprops designed as a reference for people learning and working in group theory. He has also worked on other projects, such as online math videos and a website dedicated to discussing open borders.