- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: TarcherPerigee; 1 edition (July 31, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 039916524X
- ISBN-13: 978-0399165245
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 574 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #991 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra) 1st Edition
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“A good teacher will leave you educated. But a great teacher will leave you curious. Well, Barbara Oakley is a great teacher. Not only does she have a mind for numbers, she has a way with words, and she makes every one of them count.”
—Mike Rowe, creator and host of Discovery Channel’s "Dirty Jobs" and CEO of mikeroweWORKS
“If you struggled through math and slept through science, there’s hope. In A Mind for Numbers, polymath Barbara Oakley reveals how to unlock the analytic powers of our brains so we can learn how to learn. This book should be required reading for students—and for my mother.”
—Adam Grant, New York Times-bestselling author of Give and Take
"Superb not only for those who are struggling or who are expert at math, but for readers who wish to think and comprehend more efficiently."
“An ingeniously accessible introduction to the science of human cognition—along with practical advice on how to think better.”
—James Taranto, The Wall Street Journal
“In my book The Math Instinct, I described how we have known since the early 1990s that all ordinary people can do mathematics, and in The Math Gene, I explained why the capacity for mathematical thinking is both a natural consequence of evolution and yet requires effort to unleash it. What I did not do is show how to tap in to that innate ability. Professor Oakley does just that.”
—Keith Devlin, NPR Weekend Edition’s “Math Guy”
“A wonderful book! How do you come to love math and science, and how do you come to learn math and science? Read A Mind for Numbers. Barbara Oakley is the magician who will help you do both.”
—Francisco J. Ayala, University Professor and Donald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences, University of California, Irvine, and former President and Chairman of the Board, American Association for the Advancement of Science
“Being good at science and mathematics isn’t just something you are; it’s something you become. This users’ guide to the brain unmasks the mystery around achieving success in mathematics and science. I have seen far too many students opt out when they hit a rough patch. But now that learners have a handy guide for ‘knowing better’ they will also be able to ‘do better.’”
—Shirley Malcom, Head of Education and Human Resources Programs, American Association for the Advancement of Science
“A Mind for Numbers is an excellent book about how to approach mathematics, science, or any realm where problem solving plays a prominent role.”
—J. Michael Shaughnessy, Past President of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
“I have not been this excited about a book in a long time. Giving students deep knowledge on how to learn will lead to higher retention and student success in every field. It is a gift that will last them a lifetime.”
—Robert R Gamache, Ph.D., Associate Vice President, Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and International Relations, University of Massachusetts, Lowell
”A Mind for Numbers helps put students in the driver’s seat—empowering them to learn more deeply and easily. This outstanding book is also a useful resource for instructional leaders. Given the urgent need for America to improve its science and math education so it can stay competitive, A Mind for Numbers is a welcome find.”
—Geoffrey Canada, President, Harlem Children's Zone
"It's easy to say 'work smarter, not harder,' but Barbara Oakley actually shows you how to do just that, in a fast-paced and accessible book that collects tips based on experience and sound science. In fact, I'm going to incorporate some of these tips into my own teaching."
—Glenn Harlan Reynolds, Beauchamp Brogan Distinguished Professor of Law, The University of Tennessee
“A Mind for Numbers is a splendid resource for how to approach mathematics learning and in fact learning in any area. Barbara Oakley’s authoritative guide is based on the latest research in the cognitive sciences, and provides a clear, concise, and entertaining roadmap for how to get the most out of learning. This is a must-read for anyone who has struggled with mathematics and anyone interested in enhancing their learning experience.”
—David C. Geary, Curators’ Professor of Psychological Sciences and Interdisciplinary Neuroscience, University of Missouri
“For students afraid of math and science and for those who love the subjects, this engaging book provides guidance in establishing study habits that take advantage of how the brain works.”
—Deborah Schifter, Principal Research Scientist, Science and Mathematics Programs, Education Development Center, Inc.
“A Mind for Numbers explains the process of learning in a fascinating and utterly memorable way. This book is a classic, not only for learners of all ages, but for teachers of all kinds.”
—Frances R. Spielhagen, Ph.D., Director, Center for Adolescent Research and Development, Mount Saint Mary College
About the Author
Barbara Oakley is a professor of engineering at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. Her research has been termed "revolutionary" by the Wall Street Journal. She has received many national awards for her teaching, including the American Society of Engineering Education Chester F. Carlson Award for outstanding technical innovation in STEM pedagogy and the Theo L. Pilkington Award for exemplary work in bioengineering education. Her Coursera-UC San Diego course Learning How to Learn, created with her co-instructor Terrence Sejnowski, the Francis Crick Professor at the Salk Institute, is the most popular massive open online course in the world, with nearly 2 million students to date.
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Top customer reviews
If you need to study to pass a certification test this book is for you, or if you just try to keep a sharp mind, this book is for you.
Dr. Oakley in an incredible easy way explains to you why many common ways to learn or memorize just don't work, and offers a better way to learn which help you to achieve your goals.
I went through, and was somewhat traumatized by, the traditional school system. It wasn't that I was a bad student (I was valedictorian actually), but that it taught me terrible habits that didn't serve me in real life. I left school with a rigid fixed mindset that made learning laborious at best and impossible at worst; and even though I hated the traditional classroom environment with its handholding and hoop-jumping, I was utterly paralyzed outside of it. I think on some deep emotional level, I didn't believe I could learn anything new. (Hence the fixed mindset. For those who don't know what I'm talking about, google "fixed vs. growth mindset", and for heaven's sake, embrace the latter!)
I have struggled for years to retool my mental habits, and I'm finally getting to the point where I feel free and agile again. This book was incredibly helpful and would have been even more so had I read it earlier in my journey. Even now, it taught me a lot, mostly the science behind the techniques I'd already discovered but also a few new tricks too. This book (or something like it) will be required reading for my kids, and I'm planning on structuring their entire education around these skills (we're homeschooling). To me, it's way more important than any math concept or classical piece of literature, because if you know this, you can go get that at any time.
This book is no doubt helpful for school, but I would argue that it is even more essential for your career. Today, continued learning, both on the job and in your spare time, is becoming ever more critical for long-term career success. In IT, things move so fast that you should expect your skills to be outdated by the time you graduate! If you can't keep learning and fast, you're nowhere.
I did have a couple of gripes with the book: Structurally, I felt like it sort of went in circles. Topics were brought up again and again, each time going a bit deeper into it. It sort of goes along with the theme of spaced recall, but I like my books more linearly organized so that *I* can do the jumbling. :) The other is that it's very academically focused with most of the examples drawn from college students. That makes sense as the author is a college professor. However, for most people, college is but a short chapter in the story of life, and I would have enjoyed reading more examples drawn from real world careers and industry. (See above paragraph.)
Okay, enough talking ... go buy it!
I have purchased three copies of this book, for each of my children, to help them make a smooth transition to college life as it approaches (also as an inoculant). Highly recommended to women and girls who developed a mental block for math and science in high school or college.
I'll probably fail my math class but the second time around I atleast will have practice enough to pass. This was therapeutic.