Barb at the Smithsonian!

11th August 2017

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners!

Book of the Week

Our book recommendation this week is The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results. (The Audible version seems to be on sale now. Two free audiobooks may be possible through this link.)  The ONE Thing has  been a monster best-seller, with  more than 350 appearances on national bestseller lists, including #1 Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today. We read this book when it first came out in 2013, and then reread it again recently. What’s surprised us is how much of its message we’ve internalized into our approach to our work. This has clearly been beneficial!  Highly recommended if you’re trying to improve your productivity in your work—and your happiness in family life.

Barb speaking at the Smithsonian in Washington DC

Barb’s talk at the Smithsonian is featured on the cover of the latest version of the Smithsonian’s magazine.  (Okay, it’s in small print, but still!) If you’re anywhere in the DC area, Barb would love to see you—she’ll plan to be at the Ripley Center early to mingle, chat, and say hello.  The talk will be  Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 6:45 p.m. in the  Ripley Center. Register here.

Also, the Smithsonian is launching their new science literacy initiative in September, and Barb’ talk will be part of it.  The initiative is called “Inside Science,” and you can check it out here.

Modern CastingA Wonderful Review of A Mind for Numbers

We can’t help but recommend this terrific review in the magazine Modern Casting about our course supplemental text, A Mind for Numbers.  Learning how to learn is vitally important for widely different fields, from casting metal to, well, you name it!

Efficiency is Everything

Have you ever thought about applying principles of productivity to your everyday life?  Engineer Michael Kirk has done exactly that—he’s devised a number of engineering-driven life hacks that are quick to learn and easy to apply. They can help you avoid blindly going through life, wasting time on non-value added tasks and needless expenses.  Michael has been collecting data for years on real-world applications you can use daily.  Barb notes that Michael’s insights are great—and not just because he’s the friend of one of her former students! Check out Efficiency Is Everything.

MOOCs of the Week

Our friends at the  Santa Fe Institute have two MOOCs currently open for enrollment. [Hat tip, Gabby Beans and Julia Heusinkveld, Santa Fe Institute.]

1) Introduction to Dynamical Systems and Chaos. This is the #1 rated math and science MOOC on Class Central, which is a fantastic testament to the course! Here’s the kind of praise Dave has earned:

  • “I must say that if Prof Feldman decided to give a course about the California Sewage system I would definitely enlisted myself on the course :)”
  • “The explanations and the level of math were just perfect so that I could grasp the concepts without getting lost in the math. Dave did a wonderful job in making the information clear without dumbing it down.”

2) Similarly, Liz Bradley’s Nonlinear Dynamics: Mathematical and Computational Approaches is similarly acclaimed. This course is taught at a higher level and assumes some coding experience, so it’s a natural follow up to Dave’s class. Here’s what students say about Liz’s class:

  • “I liked best about the course the profound experience of Liz and her deep commitment with learners. The general approach, enthusiasm from the Complexity Explorer team, the perspective of the Santa Fe Institute, the TOPICS and the way they were explained, the “engineer-like” structure of the course videos and quizzes.”

Incidentally, a great introduction to chaos and dynamical systems is James Gleick’s classic Chaos: Making a New Science, (Audible version here.) This has long been one of our favorite scientific “biographies,” although it’s much broader than any one person. It’s the story, after all,  of the birth of a whole new discipline!

How to Build a Better Memory

Here’s an insightful article by Tyler Daswick here with Men’s Health about building a better memory.  What we particularly like about this article is that it gives a great feel for the strange and even bizarre imagery that can be most helpful in building your memory.  

A Crunch of The Power of Habit

Arthur Worsley has just finished crunching Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit, (Audible version here) which is one of our favorite books about how to enhance your productivity and your life. Arthur’s crunches are great reminders of key points!

How Video Games Affect the Brain

Here is an excellent article in Medical News Today that reviews findings related to how video games can affect your brain.  [Hat tip LHTLer Brandonrox10.]

That’s all for this week. Have a happy week in Learning How to Learn!

Barb, Terry, and the entire Learning How to Learn team
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