The Manga Guide to Linear Algebra
Publisher: No Starch Press
Final Release Date: May 2012
Pages: 264

Reiji wants two things in life: a black belt in karate and Misa, the girl of his dreams. Luckily, Misa's big brother is the captain of the university karate club and is ready to strike a deal: Reiji can join the club if he tutors Misa in linear algebra.

Follow along in The Manga Guide to Linear Algebra as Reiji takes Misa from the absolute basics of this tricky subject through mind-bending operations like performing linear transformations, calculating determinants, and finding eigenvectors and eigenvalues. With memorable examples like miniature golf games and karate tournaments, Reiji transforms abstract concepts into something concrete, understandable, and even fun.

As you follow Misa through her linear algebra crash course, you'll learn about:

  • Basic vector and matrix operations such as addition, subtraction, and multiplication
  • Linear dependence, independence, and bases
  • Using Gaussian elimination to calculate inverse matrices
  • Subspaces, dimension, and linear span
  • Practical applications of linear algebra in fields like computer graphics, cryptography, and engineering

But Misa's brother may get more than he bargained for as sparks start to fly between student and tutor. Will Reiji end up with the girl—or just a pummeling from her oversized brother? Real math, real romance, and real action come together like never before in The Manga Guide to Linear Algebra.

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oreillyThe Manga Guide to Linear Algebra
 
5.0

(based on 4 reviews)

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100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to understand (4)
  • Helpful examples (4)
  • Accurate (3)
  • Concise (3)
  • Well-written (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Novice (4)
    • Student (4)
    • Intermediate (3)

    Reviewed by 4 customers

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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    The Manga Guide to Linear Algebra

    By hfb

    from Nashua, NH

    About Me Engineer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Concise
    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate
      • Novice
      • Student

      Comments about oreilly The Manga Guide to Linear Algebra:

      Linear algebra was one of the few classes I made a B in while I was in college and for whatever reason, I just had a very difficult time grasping some of the concepts. Since it's useful to know in my field, I figured it might come back to haunt me someday. When I saw this book, I was a bit skeptical because I have never been a fan of manga and made fun of those that liked it, despite being half Japanese. I have to say, I'm impressed with how the content is presented.
      Instead of dry text with basic examples, the storyline goes to help keep the reader interested in the topic as it leaves you waiting to see what happens in the story while learning the various topics that are taught in the storyline.
      If you already know a little about matrices, the first half of the book will go quickly and is a fast read. The rest will take a little bit of thought but it does a good job explaining abstract concepts.
      The quality of the presentation of the material in this book have piqued my interest in the other topics in the series, something that may be useful as our own children begin to learn more about advanced math and science.

      Disclaimer: This book was received as part of the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program. All comments represent my thoughts and opinions.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Before you tell Linear Algebra is boring

      By Pasan Wijesinghe

      from Sri Lanka

      About Me Student

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Accurate
      • Concise
      • Easy to understand
      • Helpful examples
      • Well-written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate
        • Novice
        • Student

        Comments about oreilly The Manga Guide to Linear Algebra:

        I'm reviewing this book under O'Reilly Blogger Review Program

        Disclaimer:
        I've read only 4 chapters out of 8.

        About my relationship status with Linear Algebra
        I'm an Engineering student, getting C's and C-'s for linear algebra modules. I find it difficult to apply the concepts of Linear Algebra to other related subjects. (Eigenvectors and eigenvalues for communications and electromagnetics). I knew there was something wrong with the basics but didn't know how to fix it. Going through old lecture notes will make me mad and standard textbooks are so boring and time consuming.

        Manga Guide Coming to Help
        The slightly romantic(?) friendship between the geek and the pretty girl makes the reader continue reading the 'story' without stopping and in the meanwhile he unknowingly learns Linear Algebra. The discussions they do between breaks add up the spice.

        Plus Points
        Reader feels like having a tuition from a genius friend who is a master to teach difficult things with everyday life examples. The most important thing is that the reader feels confident that he has grasped the core concepts. (So he can find exercises from any old-school textbook and work on them.)
        It is a quick read.
        For a student who has attended the classes but not able to understand things properly it will be a VERY quick read. He/She will soon begin to understand what the professor was telling throughout semesters! For a student who is just beginning to learn Linear Algebra, reading the book before the classes will make it very easy to follow the lectures. He/She will be able to better understand the concepts which the dull professor tells without good examples because the hero of our Manga guide has already done so.

        Bad Points
        The book does not contain enough exercises. However this has a point. It makes the book compact. (Otherwise it is unimaginable to cover such a large syllabus area on Linear Algebra with less than 300 graphic filled pages). The author's intention is teaching the fundamentals firmly. (Many textbooks lack that). It is the job of the student to make himself exposed to as much exercises as possible. (Past examination papers, text books and websites can help!)

         
        5.0

        Fresh air guide to Linear Algebra

        By sandyboy55

        from St Louis, MO

        About Me Developer, Learner

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Accurate
        • Concise
        • Easy to understand
        • Helpful examples
        • Well-written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Intermediate
          • Novice
          • Student

          Comments about oreilly The Manga Guide to Linear Algebra:

          To be honest I haven't touched Linear Algebra for 20+ years. I had a gruelling time in high school just trying to keep up with an insane syllabus that I didn't have the time to really understand the purpose of Linear Algebra in real life. To make it worse, my professors didn't bother to explain either as they had a lot of topics to cover in very little time. So it was all mechanical learning trying to solve problems and proofs without understanding why. I always had this feeling in me that my learning of linear algebra was incomplete in spite of scoring well in Math. So 20 years later I picked up this book out of sheer curiosity whether my learning could be completed.

          I must say I am very impressed with the approach of this book. The author has made learning delightful using a comic format with two kids - one a math wiz trying to explain it to the other who is struggling. At a steady pace, the book covers a lot of the basic concepts of linear algebra like vectors, matrices, Gaussian elimination, subspaces, dimension, and linear span. The author makes it interesting by explain how they apply in computer graphics, cryptography, and engineering. I finished reading the entire book in 3 hours! It all just came back to me after 20+ years! Thanks to this book, I am glad that my kids will not be struggling to understand math when they go to high school.

          Albert Einstein said, "You have really learned something if you can explain it to your grandmother". I can confidently say I have learned the concepts of Linear Algebra thanks to this book and I can teach it to my grandmother (if she is willing to learn!).

          (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Fun Intro to Linear Algebra

          By MH

          from Shaker Hts, OH

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Easy to understand
          • Helpful examples

          Cons

          • Too basic

          Best Uses

          • Novice
          • Student

          Comments about oreilly The Manga Guide to Linear Algebra:

          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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