Inspiring creativity

June 23, 2011

In late February, Dr. Elizabeth Davis, BBA '84, executive vice president and provost at Baylor University, announced the one-year appointment of Dr. Edward B. Burger to the position of vice provost for strategic educational initiatives. Burger, the 2010 recipient of Baylor's Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching, had been a visiting professor at Baylor during the fall 2010 semester.

Burger is professor of mathematics and The Lissack Professor of Social Responsibility and Personal Ethics at Williams College in Massachusetts. During his one-year appointment, which begins in July, he also will hold the title of visiting professor of math.

Burger taught two popular classes during the fall 2010 semester at Baylor, "Ideas in Mathematics" and "Foundations of Combinatorics and Algebra." He also launched the Cherry Faculty Forum, a weekly program well-received by faculty across the disciplines who met regularly to discuss defining and fostering creativity both in the classroom and in their own scholarly pursuits.

"From the moment he arrived, Dr. Burger was warmly received by students and faculty, as he effectively engaged representatives from across the Baylor campus in important dialogue about innovative teaching and learning in the academy," Davis said. "That experience suggested that Ed could provide valuable assistance and perspective as we consider thoughtfully, and on behalf of our students, during the next year, the kinds of educational innovation we want to invest in and focus on in the future."

"I am delighted and honored to be invited to return to Baylor and serve in this new role," Burger said. "I look forward to collaborating with faculty, students and administrators on imaginative projects that have the promise of inspiring us all collectively to consider the true transformative potential of the modern academy."

A math professor at Williams College since 1990, Burger has been honored with numerous teaching and writing awards, including the 2007 Award of Excellence from Technology & Learning magazine, the 2006 Reader's Digest "100 Best of America" as Best Math Teacher, and the 2006 Lester R. Ford Award, the 2004 Chauvenet Prize and the 2001 Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award for Distinguished College Teaching of Mathematics, all from the Mathematical Association of America.

Burger is the author or co-author of more than 30 research articles and 21 books and CD-ROM texts. He also has written and appeared in hundreds of educational videos, some of which can be found at

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