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

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

Opening Keynote, Florida Literacy Conference

On 05/10/2017 at South Seas Island Resort, Captiva, Fl


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!

A terrific new math program for kids—Smartick

Cheery Friday greetings to our Learning How to Learners! Books of the Week As you know, we’re big fans of biographies. And we’ve got an exceptional one to tout: Cleopatra: A Life, by Stacy Schiff. Great biographies give a sense of what might have been…


Big Magic/MOOC Job/LHTL in French/Procrastination

Cheery Friday greetings to our Learning How to Learners! Book of the Month We’ve already got the month’s best book lined up for you: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. This is a #1 New York Times best seller by Elizabeth Gilbert—yes, that Elizabet…