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Barbara Oakley, 2023 Prize Winner

Lifelong Learning
Distinguished Professor of Engineering, Oakland University

Barbara Oakley has made learning easier for millions of people from all walks of life. Corporate leaders, college professors, K-12 teachers, parents, and learners of all ages have all benefited from her innovative approaches to teaching and learning. Through her immensely popular online courses, bestselling books, and global speaking engagements, she reveals how insights from neuroscience can be used to improve how we learn and teach challenging concepts in math, engineering, and other STEM fields, as well as learning languages, music, sports, and art. More than 5 million people worldwide have taken Dr. Oakley’s free massive open online courses (MOOCs). These offerings include “Uncommon Sense Teaching,” for educators, “Mindshift,” for midlife learners, and “Learning How to Learn,” one of the most popular MOOCs of all time. In her internationally bestselling book, A Mind for Numbers, she not only shares her own inspirational story but also introduces readers to their untapped learning potential. Now a Distinguished Professor of Engineering at Oakland University, Dr. Oakley originally trained as a linguist and began taking remedial mathematics only in her later twenties. Her pathbreaking portfolio of work and her own motivational story epitomize the spirit of innovation, leadership, and impact celebrated by the McGraw Prize.

Last updated September 27, 2023