A mind for numbers by Barbara Oakley

A mind for numbers -

Main insights from the book

  1. Active recall - Anki is a good choice for memorization, use guiding questions to trigger answers and recall
  2. Spaced repetition - start your learning ahead of time, give the material time to sink in properly
  3. A chunk - a concept/action/subject we have in mind which we can recall instantly and manipulate - riding a bike, driving a car, simple multiplication and so on
  4. Take breaks - use active focus mode and passive diffuse mode to generate chunks faster
  5. Practice makes permanent
  6. We should learn every concept from two sides, the big picture ideas as well as practice and memorize the small details to achieve a solid chunk
  7. Use the memory palace technique when learning something which demands a lot of memorization
  8. Use metaphors and contrasts to remember better
  9. Learn in groups, ask the professor for help, actively do the homework, don't just do it for the sake of the grade
  10. Focus intently on the problem - deep work, use the Pomodoro technique
  11. Do the hard things first, don't just do the easy work because it won't challenge you - like building a muscle we need to work on the hard things to develop