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TagBarbara Oakley

: A journey through a kaleidoscopic, mathematical dreamscape, punctuated with intricate details, entwined and layered to create a mesmerizing wonder.

Arts major cracks hard math through practice, practice, practice

She became an engineering prof that way. The war on math is certainly not over but the warriors may be starting to find themselves on the back foot
Mathematics underlies our entire universe at its most basic level. Correct answers conform to reality. The war on 2 + 2 = 4 is just plain doomed. Read More ›
A sad young female student sitting at the table, studying.

Can We Rewire Our Brains To Be More Fluent in Math?

An artsy who flunked math — but later became an electrical engineering prof — says yes

Barbara Oakley, a self-confessed math phobe, nonetheless became a professor of electrical engineering at Oakland University in Michigan, as well as an author. In 2014, she offered some secrets: at Nautilus. Be warned: Her secrets are not “Forget homework!” or “Math is a tool of oppression!” No, this is quite a different message. It’s about neuroplasticity, the ways our brains adapt to our circumstances, to give us the tools we need. But to adapt, the brain needs practice: Japan has become seen as a much-admired and emulated exemplar of these active, “understanding-centered” teaching methods. But what’s often missing from the discussion is the rest of the story: Japan is also home of the Kumon method of teaching mathematics, which emphasizes Read More ›