Burger, Edward B. 1963–
Burger, Edward B. 1963–
PERSONAL: Born 1963. Education: Connecticut College, B.A. (summa cum laude), 1985; University of Texas at Austin, Ph.D., 1990; additional postdoctoral study at University of Waterloo. Hobbies and other interests: Stand-up comedy.
ADDRESSES: Office—Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Williams College, Williamstown, MA 01267; fax: (413) 597-4061. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Writer and mathematician. Williams College, Williamstown, MA, assistant professor, 1990–96, associate professor, 1997–2000, professor of mathematics and statistics, 2000–, chairman of department, 2003–. Visiting lecturer, University of Texas at Austin, 1990; visiting professor, James Madison University, 1993, University of Texas at Austin, 1994, 1997, University of Colorado at Boulder, 1995, 1998–99, 2002–03, Macquarie University, 1999, Westminster College, 2001, and Texas Christian University, 2001. Member of board of trustees, Educational Advancement Foundation, 2004–. Creator of five CD-ROM virtual videotexts. Performer of demonstrations on mathematics at schools, and on television and radio.
MEMBER: Mathematical Association of America, American Mathematical Society.
AWARDS, HONORS: Educational Advancement Foundation grants, 1997–98, 1999; Robert W. Hamilton Book Award, 2001, for The Heart of Mathematics: An Invitation to Effective Thinking.
Exploring the Number Jungle: A Journey into Diophantine Analysis, American Mathematical Society (Providence, RI), 2000.
(With Michael Starbird) The Heart of Mathematics: An Invitation to Effective Thinking, Key College Publications (Emeryville, CA), 2000, 2nd edition, 2004.
(With Robert Tubbs) Making Transcendence Transparent: An Intuitive Approach to Classical Transcendental Number Theory, Springer Verlag (New York, NY), 2004.
(With Michael Starbird) Coincidences, Chaos, and All That Math Jazz: Making Light of Weighty Ideas, illustrated by Alan Witschonke, W.W. Norton & Co. (New York, NY), 2005.
Contributor of papers to numerous scholarly journals, including Pacific Journal of Mathematics, Journal of the Australian Mathematical Society, Mathematika, Illinois Journal of Mathematics, American Mathematical Monthly, Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society, Fibonacci Quarterly, Rocky Mountain Journal of Mathematics, Journal of Number Theory, Mathematical Intelligencer, Journal of the London Mathematical Society, Indiana Journal of Pure and Applied Mathematics, Math Horizons, and Acta Arithmetica. Reviewer of mathematics texts for numerous university and popular presses, including McGraw-Hill, John Wiley and Sons, and St. Martin's Press. Referee of articles for numerous scholarly journals. Coauthor, with Michael Starbird, of The Joy of Thinking: The Beauty and Power of Classical Mathematical Ideas (DVD), for Teaching Company (Chantilly, VA), 2004.
SIDELIGHTS: Edward B. Burger would like to reverse the notion that higher mathematics is beyond the comprehension of ordinary Americans. Through lectures laced with comedy, teaching DVDs, and his coauthored Coincidences, Chaos, and All That Math Jazz: Making Light of Weighty Ideas, Burger seeks to explain concepts like statistics, fractals, factors, infinity, geometry, and chaos theory to general audiences. In Coincidences, Chaos, and All That Math Jazz he and coauthor Michael Starbird use illustrations, practical advice, and a "refreshingly irreverent style," to quote a Science News reviewer, to impart knowledge of the math behind origami and the arrangement of flower petals, as well as how to remove your pants when your ankles are tied together. Booklist reviewer Gilbert Taylor felt that Coincidences, Chaos, and All That Math Jazz will "tickle those who wouldn't ordinarily pick up a math book." A Kirkus Reviews critic, noting that the work is "all calculated to appeal," added that the book provides "a bit of math in a nutshell, totaling fun."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, August, 2005, Gilbert Taylor, review of Coincidences, Chaos, and All That Math Jazz: Making Light of Weighty Ideas, p. 1977.
Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2005, review of Coincidences, Chaos, and All That Math Jazz, p. 669.
Science News, September 17, 2005, review of Coincidences, Chaos, and All That Math Jazz, p. 191.
Williams College Web site, http://www.williams.edu/ (November 2, 2005), author profile.