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A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  12,102 ratings  ·  1,270 reviews
Whether you are a student struggling to fulfill a math or science requirement, or you are embarking on a career change that requires a higher level of math competency, A Mind for Numbers offers the tools you need to get a better grasp of that intimidating but inescapable field. Engineering professor Barbara Oakley knows firsthand how it feels to struggle with math. She flu ...more
Paperback, 322 pages
Published July 31st 2014 by The Penguin Group (first published July 1st 2014)
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Dirg Aab-Richards Please have a look at www.khanacademy.org. It will help you with your maths. it is free to the world.
Mr.edres السلام عليكم اخي. لا يوجد نسخة عربية لهذا الكتاب حسب علمي حتى الان والله أعلم

لكن يمكنك شراؤه عبر امازون خذ نظرة على امازون. وبإمكانك شحنه الى الرياض ك…more
السلام عليكم اخي. لا يوجد نسخة عربية لهذا الكتاب حسب علمي حتى الان والله أعلم

لكن يمكنك شراؤه عبر امازون خذ نظرة على امازون. وبإمكانك شحنه الى الرياض كما تقوم بشحن اي شيء اخر من امازون

كل التوفيق اخي العزيز(less)

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Sanjay Gautam
Jan 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Luck favors the one who tries.

When I started reading it I never expected it to be this good. I was amazed and delighted to find this book to be exceptionally good. I have learned, which as it feels I had forgot , how to 'Learn to Learn'. It had shown me my flaws. It has shown me I was trying too hard, that it is 'easy that does it'.

She starts with learning modes, that we have two important modes of thinking, focused-mode and diffused-mode. Focused-mode are highly attentive states which are
...more
David
Sep 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-help
I first heard of this book from an online course given by the author, Barbara Oakley. The course is called "Learning how to Learn", and you can find it at coursera.

Despite the title of the book, most of the advice here is appropriate for just about any subject. It is especially appropriate for subjects with concepts that might be difficult to grasp. And the book is most definitely geared toward students. There are highlights and questions at the end of each chapter, to reinforce the key points.

T
...more
Amy Alkon
Jul 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book IS a book on how to excel at math and science -- even if you previously flunked them. However, it is also much more. It's a book that is transformative for anyone who does creative work that requires writing and thinking and taking in information and creating something new out of it.

The science on how to do optimal work in “A Mind For Numbers” has transformed my writing life from hellish to a tough job I love. Through what I learned from about diffuse mode thinking, I’m careful to put
...more
Gabi
Oct 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The title of the book doesn't do it justice. This is a book about how to get good at anything, not just math and science. It's a light read because it's full of simple advice. But the stuff it teaches is effective, and I wish it had been taught to me back in 1997 when I was starting graduate school.

If you find yourself checking your phone or screwing around on Facebook while you should be working, read this book. If you're having trouble learning stuff you need for work at a higher rate than you
...more
J.
Jan 19, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book is not at all what it says on the cover, it's just more tired "study tips" the same as you would get from any Universities student resource center. There's nothing inherently specific about learning Math and honestly I found the book to be full of an awful lot of fluff... It's a rather shockingly callous thing to do considering how many people struggle with Math to continually dance around the one fact present, it just takes a lot of time and effort and work and you may simply never cr ...more
Stephan
Dec 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Fantastic learning hacks! How our brain works concerning learning, retaining. Everyone should read this, every pupil/student in school.

We learn all our lives and sometimes we have exams - this book will tell you how to prepare well.

The title "A Mind for Numbers" is misleading, it's about learning in general.
Daniel Clausen
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-of-2018
I'm very fond of practical books, clearly written, that can be immediately applied.

One thing, however, does need to be mentioned from the beginning: This is not only a book for those looking to excel in math and science. These tricks and methods can be used for any subject. My suspicion is that the "math and science" aspect of the title is a marketing ploy more than anything.

That's a shame because there is a lot in this book that I hope to pass on to language learners and students of Internati
...more
Chazzle
Feb 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
Probably some of the advice in the book is good. I just wasn't in the target audience. I like math, I'm very good at math, and this book is for those who struggle.

I liked Paul Lockhart's book "A Mathematician's Lament" much, much better. In that one, he really makes you want to DO math, to DISCOVER mathematical truth, to LOVE math. In Barbara Oakley's book, she teaches you how to "get by", and maybe even "get an A". Much, much less inspirational. Where's the fun? Where's the love?
Bryn
Dec 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic book for understanding how we best learn complex concepts. Initially I thought because I already have college degrees in Math and CS that I didn't need to read this book. I though I already knew how to learn match and science. I was wrong.

In retrospect, the subjects and classes that came easily to me were the classes in which I was practicing many of the good habits prescribed in this book. The subjects in which I struggled, were plagued by many of the bad habits and pitfalls outline
...more
Eat.Sleep.Lift.Read.
Mar 19, 2016 rated it really liked it

Like many of 'these' books, most of the advice seems, to a stud like me, mostly common sense.

But, A Mind for Numbers, has more 'takeaway' value than most.

If you want to grow ya brain (the one up top) then give this book a whirl.

If you want to grow the other one, I have a plethora of www. recommendations.

Either way, stay sexy.
Giuseppe D
Oct 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Got to this book after reading about it in the Coursera course "Learning how to learn". Some very good ideas not at all obvious, at least not to me, that make perfect sense. Go have a look at the author's website for the 10 principles of learning and, if you find them interesting, grab a copy!
Mark Bao
Jun 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People new to study skills and learning techniques
tl;dr: Read if you want to learn general study skills, skip if you're interested in skills specifically for math/science.

Why did the author write a book about getting better at numbers and math and science and not really talk specifically about how to get better at math and science? This book is 90% about general study skills with lackluster tie-ins to how it might work with math/science. Don't go into this thinking you'll learn stuff specific to math/science – you'll be disappointed.

As an intro
...more
John
Jan 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Mind for Numbers is a worthy addition to the "owner's manual for the brain" genre. It's billed as a description of how people who did not do well in math or science in school can learn to effectively study topics within those fields.

As someone who did well in math and science in school, this book reminded me of many successful study habits, some cultivated on purpose and some by accident during my preprofessional academic career. The book also has some great ideas that run counter to the conve
...more
Tereza Hladíková
Feb 28, 2016 rated it did not like it
I didn't like the way Barbara repeats over and over the same agruments for nearly trivial statements. For example she was able to write about 30 pages only about the fact that you need to sleep and relax in order to enhance your learning. For me, it seems like a 1000-year-old advice but she kept repeating it as if I haven't read it already 16 times before in this chapter. The entire book could be summarized in 5 pages. Although I must admit that I surely enjoyed reading her life story, about how ...more
GridGirl
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, favorites
“This is where the Law of Serendipity comes to play: Lady Luck favors the one who tries.”

Wow! I wanna read this book over and over and over again! But actually, that is something this book told me not to do… The struggle is real!
This is an excellent book for everyone who struggles with math. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 7-year old’s problem with multiplication tables or a physics master student trying to understand thermodynamics in quantum systems.
This is also a great book for everyone trying t
...more
Sergey Teplyakov
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It’s amazing that majority of people (at least white collars) are spending tons of time dealing with new information but has very limited experience in doing this efficiently. This book is about your personal productivity in tackling new concepts. This book is about your brain and tips and tricks about improving you “brain muscles” by doing well-established techniques like chunking, interleaving, space repetition, memory palaces and more.

Here is a small example: how are you reading books? Are yo
...more
Huyen
Oct 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
Haven't finished yet... So far so good. Very applicable and readable.

The book is not only for undergrads learning math and science but also for anyone who wants to learn any subjects that require more mental power. It's also good for grad students, faculty, researchers who want to stay productive.

P.S. Finished.
Magnus Itland
Sep 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
The book is used as an optional textbook to the Coursera course "Learning How to Learn", and works beautifully in that context. It also stands well alone. The book should have had the same name as the course, this would have been more descriptive. The current title is somewhat misleading.

This is a basic introduction to the science of learning. It can be of use both to the less brainy and the more brainy, but not so much to those who already have a broad overview of the cognitive sciences. Oakle
...more
Akhil Mehta
Aug 09, 2014 rated it it was ok
The book, even though it says so in the title, has no particular drift towards math and sciences.

I was expecting a STEM-put-ultra-simply type books, much in the vogue of some old russian calculus and physics textbooks, which employed plots like conversation and simple language to eradicate the fear for the so called hard sciences. The science I got instead was "memorizing avogadro's constant 6.022x10^7 by making it into a rhyme"

(Avogadro's constant is actually 6.022x10^23)

Two stars for being a g
...more
♥ Ibrahim ♥
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have had higher expectations out of this book as it touches more mainly on learning and memory skills in general than on the specific study of mathematics and science. I got some useful tips on time management, curing procrastination, mnemonics, neurons that wire together they fire together and so on. The author is evidently so intelligent, full of compassion, and teaches from her wonderful personal experience.
Darian Onaciu
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the few books I wish I knew about 15 or 20 years ago.

There are some areas in life which have a critical importance and influence every other aspect of how we live, one of these being learning and another one being sleep. If you're curios you can check out my short review of Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker

Barbara Oakley combines scientific research on how the brain learns with good writing and actionable advice.

Although the title suggests th
...more
Dale Pearl
The title of the book is somewhat deceptive. This is a book breaks down learning as a science and providers real world sampling on how to get good at anything, not just math and science. It's a light read because it's full of simple advice. This is a must read for anyone attending school regardless of the level.

Read this book multiple times, organize your life on a schedule, provide your body with proper sleep and exercise. Combine that basic self help alongside this simple "how-to" on how to ma
...more
Kirsten
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Gives me hope! Haha. Tons of tips that are neurologically backed-up. Helps prove and shows ideas on how the brain can be trained. Interrelates Math and Science with more than just Math and Science. Worth reading!
Oleksandr Golovatyi
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great book about how to improve your study process.
Yoly
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very helpful book. I wish I had access to a book like this one when I started college.
Julia
Jun 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Read this book as an accompaniment to the Coursera online course, which I'm really enjoying! The book itself provides an excellent explanation of the core ideas of the course, plus some additional material and discussion questions. There were a few chapters near the end that didn't seem totally necessary, but overall I think this is an excellent resource, especially for students in STEM courses.

My key takeaways from the book were: the importance of switching between focused thinking and diffuse
...more
Zane
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the learnings (and lots of reminders about things I already knew).
What I totally did wrong - listened to audiobook of this book. Do not recommend. I was confused about the chapter structure, quotes and summaries.
Yet learned something new as well. Hm, maybe some physics books are in order to cement what I just learned about?
P.s. one of few subjective learnings about myself during this book is - I'm lazy! :D
Jacob
Jun 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
There's actually precious little here that is specific to numbers, math, or science. It's actually a book about how to learn no matter what you're studying, and because of that it is super useful. Self-learning is actually one of my strengths, and I already knew many of the "tricks" in here, but this is the kind of thing that is always a good refresher and there's always something to learn.

Top tricks include the fact that you have two mental states, focused and diffuse, and need both to really l
...more
Coan
Nov 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
A Mind for Numbers by Dr Barbara Oakley.

Essentially a manual for how to study well, this book provide a wide range of tools to enhance learning. While its intended application is for those studying mathematics and other STEM topics, the author puts forward (and I agree) that any of the techniques can be used for any topic of study. There is really no math covered in this book just study methods to improve learning and understanding.

You'll likely find that several of the techniques covered are on
...more
Angie
Mar 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
I am fascinated by all things related to one's mind. I am so glad I read this book!

It leans more towards general studying techniques of math and science. But, it also focuses on a large amount of how to study and best retain any subject.

A lot of things I already knew as I've read quite a few published papers in journals and universities.
But, the section on test-taking is worth reading if you don't have time to read the whole book.
The little snippets here and there interspersed throughout about s
...more
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Barbara Oakley, PhD, a 'female Indiana Jones,' is one of the few women to hold a doctorate in systems engineering. She chronicled her adventures on Soviet fishing boats in the Bering Sea in Hair of the Dog: Tales from Aboard a Russian Trawler. She also served as a radio operator in Antarctica and rose from private to captain in the U.S. Army. Now an associate professor of engineering at Oakland Un ...more

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