Everyone from government leaders to newspaper pundits has lamented the poor state of mathematics education. Understandably, concern usually centers on whether schools provide most students with an adequate grasp of the basics of the subject. But what is often overlooked is that students with a great deal of mathematical talent are also often poorly served by the nation's schools. These students might breeze through their algebra classes, but their talents can go undeveloped because most schools cannot provide a sufficiently rich and stimulating environment.
Mathematicians at colleges and universities across the nation have stepped up to this challenge by creating summer programs for mathematically talented high school students. Some of these programs have been around for decades---such as the Ross Mathematics Program at the Ohio State University, and the Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics program. Led by dedicated mathematicians with a real passion for their subject, these programs aim not only to expand students' mathematical knowledge but also to kindle in them a love of learning that will last a lifetime.
Over the past several years, the AMS has built an endowment fund, called the Epsilon Fund, to provide grants to these programs. In 2006, the Epsilon Fund will award a total of $80,000 in grants to twelve outstanding summer programs across the nation, from Puerto Rico to Tacoma. Some of the programs receive funding from government agencies, such as the National Science Foundation. But all are run on a shoestring budget, and many face difficult financial strains to keep going year after year. The Epsilon Grants provide modest supplements to the programs' budgets and are used exclusively for program expenses and student scholarships and, in some cases, scholarships only. The awards are made on a competitive basis to programs chosen by criteria of mathematical excellence and enthusiasm.
A full list of the programs receiving AMS Epsilon Grants appears below. For further information on the Epsilon Fund, visit the web page http://www.ams.org/development/2006-Epsilon-Awards.html. A fairly comprehensive listing of summer programs for mathematically talented high school students (including those with and without Epsilon grants) is available at http://www.ams.org/outreach/mathcamps.html.
AMS Epsilon Grants 2006
All Girls/All Math Summer Camp for High School Girls
Directors: Gwendolen Hines and Judy Walker, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Directors: Mira Bernstein and David Savitt, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA
Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics
Director: Daivd C. Kelly, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA
Director: George R. Thomas, University of California, Santa Cruz
Michigan Math and Science Scholars Summer Program
Directors: Daniel Burns and Patrick Nelson, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
PROMYS (Program in Mathematics for Young Scientists)
Director: Glenn Stevens, Boston University
PROTaSM (Puerto Rico Opportunities for Talented Students in Mathematics)
Director: Luis F. Caceres, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus
Ross Mathematics Program
Director: Daniel B. Shapiro, Ohio State University, Columbus
SEARCH (Summer Explorations and Reasearch Collaborations for High
Director: James Morrow, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA
Texas State University Honors Summer Math Camp
Director: Max Warshauer, Texas State University, San Marcos
Texas Tech University Summer Mathematics Academy
Directors: Jerry Dwyer and Padmanabha Seshaiyer, Texas Tech University, Lubbock
University of Chicago Young Scholars Program
Director: Paul J. Sally, University of Chicago
Founded in 1888 to further mathematical research and scholarship, the 29,000-member American Mathematical Society fulfills its mission through programs and services that promote mathematical research and its uses, strengthen mathematical education, and foster awareness and appreciation of mathematics and its connections to other disciplines and to everyday life.
Contact: Mike Breen or Annette Emerson, AMS Public Awareness Officers
Phone: 401-455-4000 (AMS Headquarters Office, Providence, RI)
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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