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The Manga Guide to Linear Algebra Paperback – June 5, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: No Starch Press; 1 edition (June 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593274130
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593274139
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,734 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Praise for the Manga Guide Series

“Highly recommended.”
—Choice Magazine on The Manga Guide to Databases

“Stimulus for the next generation of scientists.”
—Scientific Computing on The Manga Guide to Molecular Biology

“A great fit of form and subject. Recommended.”
—Otaku USA Magazine on The Manga Guide to Physics

“The Manga Guides definitely have a place on my bookshelf.”
—Smithsonian’s "Surprising Science"

“The art is charming and the humor engaging. A fun and fairly painless lesson on what many consider to be a less-than-thrilling subject.”
—School Library Journal on The Manga Guide to Statistics

“A single tortured cry will escape the lips of every thirty something biochem major who sees The Manga Guide to Molecular Biology: ‘Why, oh why couldn’t this have been written when I was in college?’”
—The San Francisco Examiner

About the Author

Shin Takahashi was born 1972 in Niigata. He received a master's degree from Kyushu Institute of Design (known as Kyushu University today). Having previously worked both as an analyst and as a seminar leader, he is now an author specializing in technical literature.

Trend Pro, Inc. is a pioneer of Ad-Manga--advertisement and advertising using Manga--in Japan. The company has produced over 1,700 Ad-Manga for over 700 clients, including many well-known public companies and government agencies. The company has over 100 registered professional Manga artists.


More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

The book starts with an introduction to the characters, then an introduction to linear algebra.
M. Helmke
The Manga Guide to Linear Algebra is highly recommended for any math student... I just wish they'd had this book when I was in school!
CuteEverything
Manga guides have sought to introduce readers to difficult technical concepts within the framework of a storyline in a comic book.
Muhammed Hassanali

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By John Z on August 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
How cool is this? Who wouldn't want to learn linear algebra from Japanese comics, more appropriately called manga. This is my second Manga Guide to read, and, first off, I found the story line a little more forced than the earlier Manga Guide title read on the solar system. With that said, the hero of this book has to teach linear algebra to the younger sister of a martial arts master. The lessons are offered in exchange for karate lessons. And, our young hero happened to have authored the school book used to teach the lessons. Not too much of a coincidence. Oh yeah, and there is a love story to boot.

Not meant as your only source to learn linear algebra, The Manga Guide to Linear Algebra offers a "quick" look at some topics related to the subject. Specifically, the book is laid out in five lessons, broken into three groupings. For basics, there is linear algebra fundamentals. For prep, there is matrics and vectors. Lastly for the main parts there are linear transformations and Eigen values/Eigen vectors.

Having a Math degree myself, and not touching linear algebra since my college days some twenty years ago, the book offered a great refresher on the subject for me. For someone new to the subject, the comics serve as reasonable explanations to the topics at hand. Instead of just being thrown a bunch of formulas and told to learn them, the characters in the story help you to absorb the knowledge more easily. I like that approach to the Manga guides, I just wish this story here was more compelling.

I imagine the primary readers of this book are people taking a linear algebra class but getting lost in the basics due to the complexity of a text book. This books excels in its introductory nature. But, you really need the practice exercises of a text book to really drive the concepts home. Combined, the two pair well together for someone struggling to get started.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Ira Laefsky VINE VOICE on June 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
Like the other excellent Manga Guide to "X-Science" Series this story-driven introduction to Linear Algebra provides a clear fun introduction to a scientific subject written by a competent academic and translated (without hiccups) into vernacular English.
In this case and unlike the knowledge of problem solving techniques and symbol manipulation one could also learn from Khan Academy's excellent videos this Manga Book also puts this important mathematical technique into the context of function mapping, basic modern algebra and set theory. I asked to review this excellent example of the Manga Guide Series because of the importance these techniques have in Machine Learning (an important toolkit in dealing with "Big Data"). These excellently-taught techniques and symbol manipulation tools are equally important in computer graphics and a variety of engineering disciplines.

A valuable and fun introduction to an important mathematical tool and an important addition to my scientific library.

--Ira Laefsky, MS Engineering/MBA IT Consultant and HCI Researcher
formerly on the Senior Consulting Staff of Arthur D. Little, Inc. and Digital Equipment Corporation
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Muhammed Hassanali on June 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
Linear algebra creates images of theoretical mathematical discussions (or lectures), and endless proofs. However linear algebra has important applications in science and engineering, and opportunities for these implications are increasing as technology advances. However, to be able to apply linear algebra concepts to our world, one must first understand what they are. Here is where an introductory book like this one can be very handy.

Manga guides have sought to present technical subjects within a story-line and through the use of comics. In this case, Reiji (a university student) wants to join the karate club. With a response like "YOU want to join THIS club?" Reiji's chances don't look good. However the captain of the club is ready to cut a deal. If Reiji tutors Misa (the captain's sister) in linear algebra, Reiji can join the karate club. Of course entry to the karate club does not ensure an easy ride. In addition, Reiji has been warned that even one pass at Misa will provoke a pummeling.

Linear algebra is presented as a general framework that deals with relationships between sets. This framework can now be applied in several specific instances. After a somewhat nebulous initial definition of linear algebra, central concepts are clearly presented within in the framework of the unfolding story. Broadly these include a brief introduction to functions and mapping, vectors, matrices, and eigenvectors and eigenvalues. As far as the storylines goes, sparks fly between Reiji and Misa - if math could only be so cool!

Manga guides have sought to introduce readers to difficult technical concepts within the framework of a storyline in a comic book. On that front, this book is just like the other Manga guides. However if seen from the perspective of learning linear algebra, it is an excellent non-threatening and fun way to get introduced to the topic.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John Jacobson on July 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
This may appear to be a dumbed down introduction to linear algebra, as the instruction is presented in the medium of a cartoon (manga) story. However the main aspects of linear algebra including matrices and vectors are clearly presented. For most readers, doing the math along with the story subjects will help one to understand the subject at a greater depth, but for review, perhaps for one who has had a linear algebra class and is advancing to more complex math, reading through the book in a few hours may suffice.

A weakness of the book is the short shrift given to practical applications of linear algebra. Computer graphics is hinted as an application, but details are scant, and the reference in the book merely refers to the format in which graphics information is usually stored in computer memory. I could find no mention of the idea that the language of quantum mechanics is really linear algebra, and commonly taught descriptive methods such as Feynman diagrams are a form of linear algebra. One might say that the information locked in a matrix is better understood by transforming it into a visual diagram! The book could have further been strengthened by including more exercises based on practical problems, the student's understanding of the value of linear algebra would thus have been enhanced.

But as an introduction to linear algebra, highly recommended.
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