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

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

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  • A good summary https://fastertomaster.com/a-mind-for-numbers-barbara-oakley/

  • The book is geared toward helping students study well. Despite the title for math, most of the advice in this book is appropriate for just about any subject. It is especially appropriate for subjects with concepts that might be challenging to grasp;

  • Some interesting text from the book:

    • Education is about getting good at challenging things!
    • Create the best conditions for focused and diffuse thinking
    • Robust learning takes a long time (quickly learned = quickly forgotten). Your brain is like muscle. It takes time to absorb new concepts and new ideas;
    • Occasional knowledge collapse is inevitable, natural and temporary
    • common pitfalls:
      • Procrastination (to avoid, e.g., do the hardest task of the day first, Use to-do lists, Set a quitting tim)
      • Distraction (including multitasking – has big switching costs and depletes limited willpower resources; to avoid, e.g., Eliminate cues)
      • Getting stuck (see Einstellung effect often as a result of too much focused thinking, focus too narrow; to avoid, e.g., Consciously alternate diffuse and focused )
      • Confirmation bias (overconfidence in your own solution without checking)
      • Illusions of confidence (following as opposed to understanding; to avoid, e.g., Test yourself frequently)
      • Fatigue (increasingly proven to be caused by build up of toxins in brain; to avoid, e.g, exercise, sleep, ..)