Barbara Oakley is an educator and writer who’s empowering people all over the world to learn more effectively. Barb is best known for her role as the lead instructor on Coursera’s Learning How To Learn – the most popular online course in the world last year – and her bestselling book A Mind for Numbers.
Although Barb is now a professor of engineering at Oakland University, she’s also worked in lots of different places, doing very different things: serving as a Russian translator on Soviet trawlers up in the Bering Sea, teaching in China, rising up the ranks from US Army private to Regular Army Captain, and working as a radio operator at the South Pole Station in the Antarctic, where she met her husband Philip.
Barb’s current work focuses on the complex relationship between neuroscience and social behavior and has been published in outlets as varied as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, where her research was described as revolutionary.
In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including:
- Barb’s insights from learning skills in the US military and retraining herself as an engineer at 26
- How to understand and apply what cognitive science has established about the learning process
- The future of online education and the success of Barb’s “Learning How To Learn”
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