Michael P. Starbird (born 1948) is a Professor of Mathematics and a University of Texas Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his B.A from Pomona College and his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Starbird’s mathematical specialty is topology. He joined the University of Texas at Austin as a faculty member in 1974, and served as an associate dean in Natural Sciences from 1989 to 1997. He serves on the national education committees of the Mathematical Association of America and the American Mathematical Society.
He has accepted visiting positions at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, The University of California at San Diego, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He is a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers. In 2012 he became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.
Starbird seeks to make sophisticated mathematics accessible to the public. His recent book, The Heart of Mathematics: An Invitation to Effective Thinking, coauthored with Edward B. Burger, was acclaimed by the American Mathematical Monthly as possibly the best math book for nonmathematicians it had ever reviewed. The book won a 2001 Robert W. Hamilton Book Award.
- Mathematical Association of America Deborah and Franklin Haimo Awards for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics, 2007 
- Minnie Stevens Piper Professorship
- Academy of Distinguished Teachers, member
- Jean Holloway Award for Teaching Excellence
- President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Award
- Friar Society Centennial Teaching Fellowship
- Eyes of Texas Excellence Award
- Chad Oliver Plan II Teaching Award
Courses for The Teaching Company
Starbird has developed several courses for The Teaching Company:
- Change and Motion: Calculus Made Clear
- Joy of Thinking: The Beauty and Power of Classical Mathematical Ideas
- Meaning from Data: Statistics Made Clear
- What Are the Chances? Probability Made Clear