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Math Girls Paperback – November 22, 2011

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Math Girls + Math Girls 2: Fermat's Last Theorem (Volume 2) + Math Girls Talk About Equations & Graphs (Volume 1)
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bestselling author Hiroshi Yuki has written over twenty books on mathematics, programming, and cryptography in Japan. Math Girls is his first novel, and his first book to be translated into English. He lives in Tokyo.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 302 pages
  • Publisher: Bento Books, Inc. (November 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983951306
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983951308
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Lars Bergstrom VINE VOICE on November 30, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Usually, love for math and romantic situations don't go well together. Particularly when the topics are selected from college-level undergraduate discrete math! But, this book successfully combines the two, using a combination of teaching and learning settings to show the characters' journeys through math understanding. With just a pinch of high-school level adolescent discomfort.

The most encouraging aspect of this book is its portrayal of the discovery process as students new to a problem domain play with problems to try to understand not just how to solve them or how to derive a solution, but why the particular domains work they way they do. While I'm certainly no trained mathematician myself, I've taken enough graduate level discrete math to recognize that the original author both has and wanted to convey a deep appreciation for the covered topics.

And, if that isn't enough to pique your interest, there is also a sample chapter available from the publisher's site:

[...]
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Tim on December 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read the preview chapters that Bento Books put up before the book was published, and I knew when I had finished with them that I would be buying the book. What I didn't anticipate was that the book could become so much greater than I could see from the small offering I had been given. Math Girls combines math, romance, and humour beautifully into a story that entertains, challenges, and rewards throughout. Not only do we get a story with rigorous mathematics, but we get characters with personality, who seem to grow and develop as time goes on. The epilogue is a bit of fluff, but it's hardly so bad that it feels like a copout--it's a charming story, but it's not a 1000-page epic with plotlines that need definitive resolution. It's a simple, cute way of capping off the narrative.

I would recommend this to any math enthusiast out there.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Raphael G. on April 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book is what I've wished for all math books to be. Instead of forking out formula left and right, this book goes deeper into the reasons why these formula work, how to find them, and all the intuition behind it. The dialog is masterfully written (thanks in no small part to the expert translation), and is challenging.

The book requires few prerequisites( I'd say it's understandable to anyone who's already seen complex numbers), but the things discussed can easily get difficult ( thus interesting ) even to people who already know all the theory behind the problems.

This stuff is what math lovers live for, and it's what teachers often fail to show. The only gripe I have about the book is the cover. I feel like a pretty big nerd pulling it out with anyone in the area.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By G. Poirier on February 11, 2014
Format: Paperback
The approach used in this book is similar to George Gamow’s Mr. Tompkins stories about important theories in physics: the teaching of scientific/mathematical principles through the use of fictional characters. In this case, we have a male high school student who is also an avid math enthusiast interacting with two female fellow students – one a math genius and the other a less gifted but nevertheless motivated learner.

Most of the book involves explaining how to approach and solve mathematical problems - the thinking involved, various techniques that can be used and the beauty and elegance of the solutions. The problems presented here vary in difficulty from rather elementary (say, mid-high school) to quite advanced (university math major level). The mathematics here is mostly what I would call pure math; that is, there is no effort towards applying any of it to real world physical problems. I found the fictional story line to be quite minor; it’s only used to fill in space between the different problem solving dialogues.

The writing style is very friendly, lively and clear. The mathematics is very well explained, often the same point being made using different approaches in order to help ensure clarity. Because of all the mathematical techniques and reasoning that form the basis of this book, I believe that it would be of interest mainly to math enthusiasts, math students and educators.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brian H. Fiedler on July 9, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The primary three teenage characters:

(1) Miruka. Girl. Hot (at math) and she knows it.
(2) Unnamed first-person narrator. Guy. Not as adept as Miruka. He follows her lead, but is intimidated by her.
(3) Tetra. Girl. Least adept at math. Really wants to compete for/with the other two characters.

The really clever part of the book is the dialog between the three characters about their individual struggles with math concepts. The long, drawn out dialog to explain and question math concepts, both elementary and advanced, is a really refreshing way for the reader to learn and review math. Readers who teach advanced math concepts, or use advanced math concepts in their teaching, will be most appreciative of this book. The human interaction with math that is laid out in this book is superb.

I disagree with reviews here that claim that a reader only needs math prerequisites through complex numbers and pre-calculus. The math here seems very advanced to me. Best wishes if this is your first exposure to math on the level of the Basel problem (see wikipedia).

The fiction aspect is minor. Math Girls could provide guilt-free reading for those who would feel uneasy about allocating time to read a beach book.
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