I love to bring fresh perspectives into my books by applying knowledge and experience from many different disciplines, as well as from “real world” experiences. Although I’m now a professor of engineering, I’ve also worked in lots of different places and doing very different things: serving as a Russian translator on Soviet trawlers up in the Bering Sea, teaching in China, going from US Army private to Regular Army Captain, and working as a radio operator at the South Pole Station in the Antarctic. (I met my husband there—I had to go to the end of the earth to meet that man!)



"Following your passion is easy. Finding it is hard. This book is full of examples to help—people who have found their way around roadblocks or just plowed right through them."

Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of ORIGINALS and GIVE AND TAKE

Learning How to Learn

The free Coursera – UC San Diego MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) Learning How to Learn, which Barb teaches with Terrence Sejnowski, the Francis Crick Professor at the Salk Institute, is the most popular massive open online course in the world, with over 1.6 million registered students.  Learning How to Learn is based on the book A Mind for Numbers—clearly people like this approach!


Forthcoming events

Barbara Oakley: “A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel in Math and Science – and Anything Else You Study,” University of Michigan – Dearborn, January 25, 2017.

On 01/25/2017 at Dearborn, Michigan, USA


Keynote presentation for “Activate Learning: New Strategies for Chemistry Education Today,” Cengage Learning

On 02/25/2017 at Austin, TX at the Sheraton Austin Capital,

McGill University

On 03/24/2017 at Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Cheery Friday Emails

Every Friday I send a "Cheery Friday" email chock full of insights about learning and changing to a million registered learners from the massive open online course ("MOOC") Learning How to Learn. To receive these emails, just click here to register for the course (it's free, and registration takes only a few seconds). You can see all previous "Cheery Friday" emails by following the link below. "See" you this Friday!

Important New MOOC on Hong Kong Cinema Jan 20, 2017

Cheery Friday greetings to our Learning How to Learners! Book of the Week This week’s book recommendation is The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It . . . Every Time, by Maria Konnikova. No matter how tough and smart you think you are, there are ways t…


Worst traits as best traits… Barb in Dearborn, Michigan! Jan 6, 2017

Cheery Friday greetings to our Learning How to Learners!  Book of the Week Italian Lead Cristian Artoni is back with a strong book suggestion for Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein’s book Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happines…