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Short biography
Barbara Oakley, PhD, PE, is a professor of engineering at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, and writer of national acclaim. Her research focuses on the complex relationship between neuroscience and social behavior. Dr. Oakley’s research has been described as “revolutionary” in the Wall Street Journal—she has published in outlets as varied as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and The New York Times. Oakley’s books have been praised by many leading researchers and writers, including Harvard’s Steven Pinker and E. O. Wilson, and National Book Award winner Joyce Carol Oates. Her forthcoming A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra) (Penguin, July 31, 2014) is opening new doors on how to learn. Prior to her academic career, Oakley rose from private to captain in the U.S. Army, during which time she was recognized as a Distinguished Military Scholar. She met her husband, Philip, when she was working at the South Pole Station in Antarctica. She also worked as a Russian translator on Soviet trawlers on the Bering Sea. Oakley was designated as an NSF New Century Scholar—she is also a recipient of the Oakland University Teaching Excellence Award (2013) and the National Science Foundation’s Frontiers in Engineering New Faculty Fellow Award. Oakley is an elected Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.
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