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Barbara Oakley      

Professor of Engineering at Oakland University; Author of "Learning How To Learn"

Barbara Ann Oakley is a Professor of Engineering at Oakland University. She is involved in multiple areas of research, ranging from STEM education to engineering education, to learning practices.

Oakley co-created and taught "Learning How To Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects," the world's most popular online course on Coursera. She also wrote a book, "A Mind For Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra)." This is a standalone book, though it companions the ideas presented in the MOOC. Oakley has LAO been featured in the Wall Street Journal with an op-ed article entitled "How We Should Be Teaching Math."

Oakley began her career in the Army and studied at the University of Washington, where she completed a B.A. in Slavic Languages and Literature. After her duties ended in the armed forces, Oakley She chose to study engineering, in order to better understand the communications equipment she had been working with in the Army.

Oakley completed a B.S. in Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington in 1986. While she was studying for the degree, Oakley worked as a Russian translator on Soviet trawlers in the Bering Sea. She also wrote a book about her experiences during this time, entitled "Hair of the Dog: Tales from Aboard a Russian Trawler."

Oakley became a Professor of Engineering at Oakland University in 1998, after graduating with a Ph.D. in Systems Engineering. She continues to be a part of the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department at Oakland.

Professor Oakley participates in several areas of research. These include STEM education, engineering education, general learning, online learning, MOOCs and their effects, and studies of empathy and altruism.

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