# 2013-2014 Baylor Undergraduate Lecture Series in Mathematics

Ed Burger

Edward B. Burger, President and Professor of Mathematics at Southwestern University, was the featured speaker in the sixth annual *Baylor Undergraduate Lecture Series in Mathematics* when he returned to Baylor on February 19-20, 2014.

Dr. Burger's public lecture "*Thinking About Your Education: The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking*" was delivered on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at 4:00 pm in D109 of the Baylor Sciences Building. His second lecture, entitled "* Thinking About Irrational Numbers: A Rational and Irrational Look at 1,2,3,4,....*" was given on February 20 in D109 at 4:00 pm.

In February 2013, Dr. Burger was named the President of Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. Prior to that, Dr. Burger was the Francis Christopher Oakley Third Century Professor of Mathematics at Williams College, where he had been a professor since 1990. He was the 2010 winner of the Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching at Baylor University. He taught two mathematics classes during his semester-in-residence. After that, Burger was hired by Baylor to be Vice Provost for Strategic Educational Initiatives for the academic year 2011-2012. Through Ed's leadership, he pushed through several significant changes, including establishing secondary majors across Baylor's campus.

The titles, and abstracts, for his two lectures are:

*Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at 4:00 pm - D109 (Baylor Sciences Building)*

## Thinking through your education: The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking

**Abstract**: One of the quintessential elements of education is that it offers students lessons that can stay with them long after they are unable to reproduce a passing grade on their course final exams. The goal of education is to transform lives--to help individuals learn how to think more imaginatively and wisely today so that they can go off and innovate as well as create artful solutions to important problems tomorrow--problems that often don't even exist yet. These habits of thought can be applied throughout life. Join us for a lively and thought-provoking event in which Dr. Burger will not only share these important life-long lessons that arouse effective thinking and creativity but also celebrate all that education does not end when we are presented with our last diploma--we continually need to make up our own minds.

*Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 4:00 pm - D109 (Baylor Sciences Building)*

## Thinking through the natural numbers: A rational and irrational look at 1, 2, 3, 4, ...

**Abstract**: (note, spelling errors and italics are intentional):

Some people see magical features in the famous Fibonacci numbers and the alluring golden ratio *phi*. But what if you replace the phamous phi with your phavorite obscure quadratic irrational real number? Is the magic still there? Here we'll think through these questions, highlight their history, and share some recent insights that will transfigure the magic into mathematics. Revealing any more here would be simply ab-*surd*.