President Edward Burger


Southwestern University President Edward B. Burger is a nationally known leader in educational innovation.

Dr. Edward Burger is President of Southwestern University as well as a professor of mathematics.  An educational leader on thinking, innovation, and creativity, Dr. Edward Burger has been the president of Southwestern and a full professor of mathematics since 2013.  Previously, he was the Francis Christopher Oakley Third Century Professor of Mathematics at Williams College, having initially joined the Williams faculty in 1990. He has delivered over 700 addresses worldwide at venues including Berkeley, Harvard, Princeton, and Johns Hopkins as well as at the Smithsonian Institution, Microsoft Corporation, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the New York Public Library, and the National Academy of Sciences. He is the author of over 70 research articles, books, and video series (starring in over 4,000 on-line videos), including the book The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking, published by Princeton University Press and translated into over a dozen languages worldwide. His latest book, Making Up Your Mind: Thinking Effectively Through Creative Puzzle-Solving, also published by Princeton University Press, was on several of Amazon’s Hot New Releases lists.

In 2006, Reader’s Digest listed Burger in its annual “100 Best of America” as America’s Best Math Teacher. In 2010, he was named by Baylor University the winner of the Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching—the largest prize in higher education teaching across all disciplines in the English speaking world. Also in 2010, he starred in a mathematics segment for NBC-TV on the Today Show; that appearance earned him a 2010 Telly Award. The Huffington Post named him one of their 2010 Game Changers: “HuffPost’s Game Changers salutes 100 innovators, visionaries, mavericks, and leaders who are reshaping their fields and changing the world.” In 2012, Microsoft Worldwide Education selected him as one of their “Global Heroes in Education.” In 2013, Burger was inducted as an inaugural Fellow of the American Mathematical Society. In 2014, Burger was elected to The Philosophical Society of Texas. He is now in his fifth season of his weekly program on thinking and higher education produced by NPR’s Austin affiliate KUT. The series, Higher ED, is available at and on iTunes.

 President Burger graduated from Connecticut College in 1985, where he earned a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude with distinction, in mathematics and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.  He earned a Ph.D. in mathematics by The University of Texas at Austin in 1990 and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Waterloo in Canada.  In 2013, he was awarded an LL.D. honorary degree by Williams College.