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

Santa Fe Institute Colloquia Series

On 05/02/2017 at Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, NM

Opening Keynote, Florida Literacy Conference

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


Visiting Scholar, June 1-30, 2017.

On 06/01/2017 at International Research Unit of Advanced Future Studies, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan

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!

Eyes Wide Open

Cheery Friday greetings to our Learning How to Learners! Eyes Wide Open We had the good fortune to read Isaac Lidsky’s Eyes Wide Open: Overcoming Obstacles and Recognizing Opportunities in a World That Can’t See Clearly. Isaac was a child star, “Weasel…


Three books about break-through entrepreneurs

Cheery Friday greetings to our Learning How to Learners! Books of the week This week, we’d like to contrast three books about break-through entrepreneurs.  Reading these books can help you think more boldly about your own life and what you would like t…