AMS Young Scholars Program supported by the Epsilon Fund was established to help support summer mathematics programs for mathematically talented high school students. The goal of the program is to aid and promote programs that support and nurture mathematically talented youth in the United States, and to make these opportunities available to a broad pool of mathematically talented students. Although it is hoped that this will motivate students to pursue a career in mathematics, the real purpose is to help create a body of individuals who have struggled with challenging mathematics and developed an appreciation for and confidence in their ability to take on rigorous intellectual pursuits.
Within these broad guidelines, many different models of programs are considered eligible and are welcome to apply. Programs may focus on any area of mathematics, pure or applied, and be of narrow or broad scope, or they may be specifically targeted to one high school year (e.g., 9th graders), or to mathematically talented women or minorities. Programs that concentrate on problem solving or mathematical research or both are welcome to apply as well. Even "summer" is not a firm requirement, though it is expected that most, if not all, will take place during the summer. Programs that use undergraduate or graduate students along with mathematicians in their teaching are particularly encouraged.
Programs that have run successfully for at least one year are given preference for funding over new programs. The selection committee, in an effort to encourage new programs, would like to be as flexible as possible with the understanding that funds are limited and recently begun programs will have to show evidence of a good fit between their plans and the mission of the AMS Young Scholars Program. All programs are encouraged to make an extra effort to attract members of underrepresented groups. It is the Society's belief that true mathematical talent lives in students in rural areas as well as cities, in students of both genders and of all colors.