It doesn't do that for me.
So, the question is what's different on your end?
What OS are you using?
What is your system hardware?
And, possibly most importantly, what format and codec is the footage you're applying it to?
System is :
Service pack 1
Processor: Intel Core I7-3770K CPU @ 3.50 GHz 3.90 GHZ
RAM : 16
System type 64-bit operating system
NVIDIA Quadro 2000
The footage is 2048X1152 (1.00) 24 FPS
and it's .DPX files from an Arri Alexa
Well, that's pretty close to my home system except I have a bit more RAM, but a slightly slower CPU. (And the GPUs are different, but they're fairly irrelevant for AE.)
As a troubleshooting step, try transcoding that footage into an intermediate format like QuickTime with, say, the Photo-JPEG codec or the PNG codec.
I tried, it still crashes on the solve phase.
Try it in CC 2014 to see if the older version still behaves. Bonus: if it works, you'll have your camera solve done and you can either continue to use it in CC 2014 or you can open the project in CC 2015.
I can report that I am not having any problems with camera tracker on several types of footage using 13.6 running on OS X 10.11.1
I actually now found more and more problems
turning a layers visibility off isn't working probably.
is there a way to restart my after effects entirely... other than uninstall and install?
Under "Previous Versions", you should be able to install 13.5 again. It will install over top of 13.6.
Alternatively, you can install 13.2 (CC 2014) alongside CC 2015.
That being said, some people have found that uninstalling and reinstalling AE has made some of those issues go away.