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 and an educational leader on thinking, innovation, and creativity. Previously, he was the Francis Christopher Oakley Third Century Professor of Mathematics at Williams College. He has delivered over 700 addresses worldwide at venues including Harvard University, Princeton University, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of California, Berkeley, as well as at the Smithsonian Institution, the 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 more than 70 research articles, books, and video series (starring in more than 4,000 online videos), including the book The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking (Princeton University Press, 2012), which was coauthored by Michael Starbird and translated into more than a dozen languages worldwide. His latest book, Making up Your Own Mind: Thinking Effectively through Creative Puzzle-Solving (Princeton University Press, 2019), was on several of Amazon’s Hot New Releases lists.

In 2006, Reader’s Digest listed Burger in their “America’s 100 Best” as America’s Best Math Teacher. In 2010, he was named the winner of the Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching, the most prestigious 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, which “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, and in 2014, he was elected to the Philosophical Society of Texas. He is now in the fourth season of his weekly podcast on thinking and higher education produced by NPR’s Austin affiliate KUT, Higher Ed.