Author to speak on effective thinking

“The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking” will sound familiar to most New College students – it was this year’s summer reading assignment.  Dr. Edward Burger, the book’s co-author, will make his first visit to campus, Wednesday, Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. in Sudakoff Conference Center on New College’s campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Burger is the president of Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. Offering lessons on the true role and purpose of education, Burger stresses the importance of “creative and artful innovation” among students.

Burger, formerly a mathematics professor, won the Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching, the most prestigious teaching award in the United States. New College President Donal O’Shea, also a mathematician, knows Burger’s work well.

“Edward Burger’s a wonderful mathematician and a spectacularly good lecturer,” O’Shea said.

“He and co-author Michael Starbird wrote this little book that isnt’t about mathematics, but about the things you learn from mathematics. And I love so many things about it, that genius comes from making mistakes, recognizing what you don’t know, asking questions and seeing where it leads.”

The read also offers practical ways to succeed by thinking and learning differently. “How much of the content from all courses will we retain 20 years after we graduate?” asks Burger in his book. “An honest answer to that question opens the door to a thought-provoking conversation about the very definition of education and how we can — with great intentionality — offer lessons that will remain with students for a lifetime.”

A native of New York, President Burger graduated summa cum laude with distinction in mathematics from Connecticut College and earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from The University of Texas at Austin. Before coming to Southwestern in 2013, Burger was a professor of mathematics at Williams College and Baylor University and promoted to vice provost of strategic educational initiatives at Baylor University in February 2011.