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Students' Reaction to Ed Burger's Cherry Award Lectures

Feb. 13, 2010

Dr. Edward B. Burger was on campus October 26-28 as one of the three finalists for the Cherry Teaching Award at Baylor University. During his site visit, he gave three lectures to packed classrooms, including close to 200 people jammed into a 136-seat classroom in the Baylor Sciences Building to hear his public lecture entitled "The Art of Exploring Invisible Worlds: Thinking through the Fourth Dimension."

Below is a representative sample of quotes from students who attended Dr. Burger's lectures.

"I thought Dr. Burger was an incredibly interesting man. He was highly energetic and a great speaker. I generally shun math, but Dr. Burger had a way of bringing it to life and holding my attention. I went to his lecture at the BSB as well which was just as enjoyable, if not more, as the in-class lecture. I'm very glad I had the opportunity to hear him speak!" (Matthew Carrington)

"He was very stimulating and had a contagious enthusiasm for the subject - very effective, creative teaching that held the audience's attention. I didn't think it would be possible to make such a difficult theorem fun and easy to learn!" (Lauren O'Farrell)

"Engrossing. That was the first word that flowed through my mind after the close of the lecture. Throughout the lecture, Dr. Burger's animated style, fluid teaching, and colorful remarks made my already interested mind stay all the more focused. One of the more admirable aspects was his lack of note usage, which tends to denote a truthful care for and adeptness in his discipline. Also, his style did not let up - giving the audience the sense that his lecture was not a fore-fronted attention-getter. These and many more reasons left me with the strengthened conviction that teachers need not necessarily teach students, but cultivate in them the discipline; then that discipline will come naturally. He receives my whole-hearted praise!" (James Yang)

"Though those of us familiar with Flatland have heard the analogies between 2, 3, and 4 dimensions often, Dr. Burger made these geometric observations tie into how we figure out problems in other types of math, how we perceive art, and ultimately how we discover things about every other discipline." (Meaghan McNeill)

"When I was at the lecture yesterday, one of my favorite quotes the speaker gave was when he talked about how when you immerse yourself in the big ideas of one subject, it becomes a lens to see ideas of other subjects. (For example, the way we can look at art after studying dimension and geometry...)" (Kathryn Ewing)

"Dr. Burger does for mathematicians what we are sorely in need of right now: he presents an argument that is mathematical in nature but is accessible to the layman that conveys the essence of why the study of mathematics is absolutely necessary. Without mathematics, what invisible worlds would we be missing out on?" (Myles Baker)