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Barbara Oakley


Barbara Oakley is a professor of engineering at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan; a visiting scholar at the University of California, San Diego; and Coursera’s inaugural innovation instructor. Her work focuses on the complex relationship between neuroscience and social behavior. Barbara’s research has been described as “revolutionary” in the  Wall Street Journal, and she has published in outlets as varied as the  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the  New York Times. She has won numerous teaching awards, including the American Society of Engineering Education’s Chester F. Carlson Award for technical innovation in engineering education. Together with Terrence Sejnowski, the Francis Crick Professor at the Salk Institute, she co-teaches Coursera—UC San Diego’s Learning How to Learn, the world’s most popular massive open online course. Her book  A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science ( Even If You Flunked Algebra), is a  New York Times bestselling science book.

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