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Manga Review: The Manga Guide to Linear Algebra by Shin Takahashi, Iroha Inoue, Trend-Pro Co. Ltd.

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The Manga Guides teach the basic concepts of science in an entertaining and informative context. Manga is a very popular form of Japanese comics. By utilizing this format to teach students about the various sciences, the people at Ohmsha Press have created some fascinating textbooks. They provide a learning experience that is informative and fun at the same time. With them, young pupils may actually enjoy the educational process for a change, and learn some important facts about science as well.

The Guides have proven to be so popular in Japan that US publishing house No Starch Press have translated them into English. I must say, the “dry as dust” study guides I had as a student never interested me as these do. Their recent Manga Guide To Linear Algebra is a great example of what they do best. The book provides an excellent introduction to the subject.

The eight chapters offer an easy to follow step-by-step course in the basics of linear algebra. We begin (appropriately enough) with “What is Linear Algebra?” From there we are move into “The Fundamentals,” “Intro To Matrices,” “More Matrices,” “Introduction to Vectors,” “More Vectors,“ “Linear Transformations,“ and “Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors.“ Each chapter is broken down into a considerable number of sub-chapters, which help to make this relatively abstract information much easier to grasp.

The Manga Guide To Linear Algebra is set up in a very user-friendly manner. The opening to each chapter and many of the sub-chapters are a series of Manga comics, outlining everything in comic form that will be discussed. The body of text then fully explains the topic .

Besides linear algebra, there are Manga Guides for a whole range of subjects, including electricity, statistics, and physics. They are highly recommended to parents who wish to offer an alternative to the often staid presentations of this material.

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