A Mind for Numbers

How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra)
by Barbara Oakley, Ph.D. | 336 pages

Although, as per the sub-title, the book is ostensibly about “How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra),” it’s really about excelling at learning and at LIFE! Barbara Oakley is an award winning engineering teacher who used to struggle mightily with math and science. She walks us through the latest research in neuroscience and learning as she shares fascinating biographical sketches of scientific + mathematical luminaries along with wisdom from other world-class teachers. Great stuff.


“This book is for high school students who love art and English classes but loathe math. It is meant as well for college students who already excel in math, science, engineering, and business, but who suspect there are mental tools to be added to their learning toolkits. It’s for parents whose children are either falling off the math track or trying to rocket toward math and science stardom. It’s for the frazzled nine-to-five worker who hasn’t been able to pass an important certification test, and for the night-shift convenience store clerk who has dreamed of becoming a nurse—or even a doctor. It’s for the growing army of homeschoolers. It’s for teachers and professors—not only in math, science, engineering, and technology, but also in fields such as education, psychology, and business. It’s for the retiree who finally has the time to embrace new knowledge in computing, for example, or the intricacies of great cooking. And it’s for readers of all ages who love to learn a little about everything.

In short, this book is for you. Enjoy!”

~ Barbara Oakley, Ph.D. from A Mind for Numbers

I got this book after reading So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport (see Notes).

Although, as per the sub-title, the book is ostensibly about “How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra),” it’s really about excelling at learning and at LIFE!

Barbara Oakley is an award-winning engineering teacher who used to struggle mightily with math and science. She walks us through the latest research in neuroscience and learning as she shares fascinating biographical sketches of scientific + mathematical luminaries along with wisdom from other world-class teachers.

If you’re passionate about learning how to learn, I think you’ll love it. If you’re a student looking to master your work, I think you’ll love it. If you’re a parent with a child who’s struggling in school I think you’ll love it. (Get the book here.)

It’s packed with Big Ideas. I’m excited to share some of favorites so let’s jump straight in!

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About the author

Authors

Barbara Oakley, Ph.D.

Author and Professor of Engineering at Oakland University