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The Manga Guide to Statistics

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the read-all-about-it dept.

Math 164

stoolpigeon writes "Many manga titles that are popular in Japan are being translated into English and published in the United States. This trend continues with a book that puts a slightly different spin on manga. The Manga Guide to Statistics, part of a series already popular in Japan, seeks to entertain while it informs. There are many elements here that can be found in any manga; a young love-struck girl, giant eyes, small noses and exaggerated emotional responses. What many may not have seen in manga before are things like calculating the mean, median and deviation of bowling scores. And that is just the start." Read below for the rest of JR's review.The story line is relatively simple. The protagonist, Rui is a teenage girl. One night her father brings home a co-worker Mr. Igarashi. Rui is quite smitten with Mr. Igarashi and tells her father that she is interesting in learning about statistics so that she can be tutored by Mr. Igarashi. The day of her first lesson, her tutor shows up and it is not who she expects. Rather than her heart-throb it is another of her father's co-workers Mamoru Yamamoto. Rui is crushed but plunges ahead, heart still set on hooking up with Mr. Igarashi.

If the idea of a fifteen year old bouncing about in skimpy outfits while pursuing a relationship with one of her father's co-workers sounds strange to you, welcome to the world of manga. If you've already read a lot of it this should sound pretty normal. It provides context as the book covers various topics in statistics and also injects quite a bit of humor into the story. That said, in the end of it all math is math. The story does provide a framework around what is presented but underneath it all this is a book that is trying to teach statistics and so my first question was "How does it do in that regard?"

The book follows a standard format through each chapter. A comic section presents some new facet of the story and then that is tied into the statistics concept that will be covered. Here the math and story are blended together. As the book moves further along these sections become increasingly more text heavy and contain less graphics. That section is followed with exercises. Here I have a small issue. The exercises are sometimes numbered, sometimes not and there seems to be absolutely no pattern or system that regulates this numbering. The answers immediately follow the exercises so it doesn't really cause any problems. I can only guess the numbers are related to an issue from the translation process. I couldn't figure it out.

The instruction and exercises are not watered down to somehow fit into the whole making math interesting theme. This was my first concern. That in an attempt to make it fun the math would not be correct or somehow watered down. This isn't the case. In fact, for a person to really get some good use out of this book I would say that they need to have a very strong command of algebra and at the very least some familiarity with calculus.

There is an entire section in the back of the book about how to do statistics using Microsoft Excel. When some formulaes are presented the book says that knowing it is not necessary but the reader is still going to see things referenced like integration and derivatives. But when, for example, Mr. Yamamoto is teaching Rui about chi-square distribution and explains to her how to read a probability density function she starts to freak out and he consoles her saying, "Don't worry. You'll never have to learn this formula itself unless you become a mathematician."

But all of the math and tables to do the work for the exercises are presented. A graphing calculator would probably make things easier but I don't think it would be necessary. I think the only other shortcoming is that the exercises are not very numerous. There are usually two or three per chapter. Sometimes they are packaged as one exercise with multiple parts. Having the answers immediately follow the exercise may also make it difficult for the reader to avoid looking at it until they have done the work themselves. The reader should still gain a solid idea of what statistics is all about and the math behind it. I wouldn't say they will have a deep understanding of the subject but they will also have moved well beyond a cursory introduction.

The story is silly and sets up some humorous examples of how to use statistics. Ramen noodle prices get graphed, Rui looks at grading on a curve and explores why her and a class mate get different grades for identical scores. Cramer's coefficient is used to examine how boys and girls prefer to be asked out. I thought that this was helpful not only because it helps to keep the readers interest but because it also moves the problems from the abstract to more concrete applications.

The weak point for me is the lack of examples and exercises. The graphic style of story telling is entertaining but limits the space for more text. This is not a statistics text book and I know that it is not trying to be one but it still limits the usefulness. Rather than giving a thorough education into statistics, it is more of an overview or quick primer. Anyone who picks this up thinking that they will gain a solid mastery of statistics is mistaken.

The jacket states that it will help the reader 'get over the "I'm no good at math" feeling.' I think that the reader had better already have some decent math skills if they want to get the most from the book, but it could be useful in helping the reluctant realize that statistics is not unapproachable. As I said, really all that is required is a good solid grasp of algebra.

I think that the real strength of the book may be in helping younger people to find the entry into this kind of work to be more entertaining. Kids would be, I think, much more likely to actually pick this up and find out if they are interested in statistics as opposed to a regular text book. If they do enjoy it, it could encourage them to go further and really master the subject. A sort of gateway text if you will. It also helps to answer the age old student's question, "Why does this matter?" by giving examples of real world use. I think the book could also be a lot of fun for someone who doesn't need to learn statistics but approaches it as a fun mental exercise, like Sudoku or another math game but with a story line and more complicated problems to solve.

Balancing out the limited amount of work, and the possibility for finding budding statisticians and mathematicians or entertaining those who already enjoy math I think that this book fills a rather unique nichee. I think within that niche it is pretty good, but outside of that may be found lacking and that is why I would rate it as adequate rather than outstanding.

You can purchase The Manga Guide to Statistics from amazon.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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Something tells me... (5, Funny)

pwnies (1034518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26122745)

The book is going to go something like this -

Chapter 2 Review Question: 1. What was the average number of tentacles used to penetrate Rui?

Re:Something tells me... (5, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 5 years ago | (#26122849)

Can't...resist urge...to..make...stupid...pun...

That brings a whole new meaning to the term "standard deviation"

Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week, try the calamari!

Re:Something tells me... (5, Funny)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123697)

What was the average number of tentacles used to penetrate Rui?

That brings a whole new meaning to the term "standard deviation" Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week, try the calamari!

Judging by poor Rui's experience, it'd probably be more accurate to say that in Sovie.. er, Anime Japan, the calamari tries *you*!

Sorry...

Re:Something tells me... (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123885)

Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week, try the calamari!

Isn't that exactly what Rui's been doing? *rimshot*

Re:Something tells me... (2, Interesting)

goldspider (445116) | more than 5 years ago | (#26122913)

Good Christ, thread over in one post.

Re:Something tells me... (2, Funny)

CambodiaSam (1153015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123065)

Wow. I think I let a little pee out when I laughed at that.

Re:Something tells me... (1)

musselm (209468) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123109)

That's mean.

Re:Something tells me... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26123125)

If you think this is bad, wait until you see the kind of inappropriate relationships that transact in The Manga Guide to Databases [amazon.com] . I hear that there are even some graphic replication scenes that slipped past the censors.

Re:Something tells me... (4, Funny)

mako1138 (837520) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123825)

The description made me laugh out loud.

Princess Ruruna is stressed out. With the king and queen away, she has to manage the Kingdom of Kod's humongous fruit-selling empire. Overseas departments, scads of inventory, conflicting prices, and so many customers! It's all such a confusing mess. But a mysterious book and a helpful fairy promise to solve her organizational problemsâ"with the practical magic of databases.

In The Manga Guide to Databases, Tico the fairy teaches the Princess how to simplify her data management. We follow along as they design a relational database, understand the entity-relationship model, perform basic database operations, and delve into more advanced topics. Once the Princess is familiar with transactions and basic SQL statements, she can keep her data timely and accurate for the entire kingdom. Finally, Tico explains ways to make the database more efficient and secure, and they discuss methods for concurrency and replication.

Re:Something tells me... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26123787)

Next month from the same author: Pedobear's Guide to Physics, where you calculate the minimum penis velocity required to penetrate a 6 year old's ribcage via their rectum.

New Twist (5, Funny)

electricbern (1222632) | more than 5 years ago | (#26122797)

Lies, damn Lies and Manga?

Manga can be anything (5, Informative)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 5 years ago | (#26122883)

Unlike the U.S., which pretty much relegated comics to a few juvenile genres (e.g. superheroes, kiddie comedy) back in the 1950s, Japanese manga is produced about just about any subject you can think of, for just about any demographic audience. There are manga for housewives, for businessmen, for little girls, for teenage boys, etc. There are manga about history, economics, cooking... so manga about stastistics isn't really that surprising.

Re:Manga can be anything (4, Informative)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123087)

Do you even read American comics? Not dissing Manga, but there are TONS of really great comics that are made in the US and Europe(as wells as elsewhere) that are far from "juvenile". You fanboys do need to get your head out of manga once in a while.....

Re:Manga can be anything (4, Insightful)

mewshi_nya (1394329) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123189)

I just finished reading Watchmen last night (And I must say, it was amazing and I wanna see the damn movie now!)

I've been slowly working my way through V for Vendetta, too.

I honestly don't care what country something is from. As far as graphic novels/comics/manga go, I like the story and the art style. It's nothing that is uniquely Japanese that draws me to read certain manga, it's the plot, the character development...

Re:Manga can be anything (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26123281)

you keep telling yourself it's the plot, pedo.

Re:Manga can be anything (5, Funny)

computational super (740265) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123461)

Hell, I keep telling myself it's the plot and I don't even read Japanese.

Re:Manga can be anything (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26124083)

This is modded Informative (yeah, we all wanted to know that) and the parent Funny (instead of Troll)? What the fuck is wrong with the Slashdot mods? They must all be into this stuff. This is probably making them feel guilty about a few things, so they pretend to buy the jokes.

Re:Manga can be anything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26123341)

Yeah, but how many of them /aren't/ superhero comics?

Any of them?

Can you name even one?

Didn't think so.

Re:Manga can be anything (1)

Neeperando (1270890) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123711)

Ghost World

American Comics w/o Superheroes (1)

cromar (1103585) | more than 5 years ago | (#26124001)

Neil Gaiman's "Sandman" series (mostly). Stuff by R Crumb, Foolbert Sturgeon, whoever did the Freak Bros. Plenty of online American comics that aren't about superheroes (Achewood, Octopus Pie, Cat and Girl)... there are a lot. They're just not mainstream.

Re:Manga can be anything (1)

AdamInParadise (257888) | more than 5 years ago | (#26124311)

Strangers In Paradise.

Re:Manga can be anything (1)

PixetaledPikachu (1007305) | more than 5 years ago | (#26124701)

Yeah, but how many of them /aren't/ superhero comics?

Any of them?

Can you name even one?

Didn't think so.

Betty & Veronica?

Re:Manga can be anything (3, Interesting)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123369)

Do you even read American comics? Not dissing Manga, but there are TONS of really great comics that are made in the US and Europe(as wells as elsewhere) that are far from "juvenile". You fanboys do need to get your head out of manga once in a while.....

And when comic shops start promoting those comics up front instead of catering to the spandex and superpowers crowd, American comics might actually *earn* a reputation as something other than juvenile.

Let's face it, "mainstream" comics do not cater to a mainstream crowd. Not that manga deserves its Western reputation as an everyman format (there is a presumption that you will read less as you go from middle school to high school graduate), but most American comics *are* juvenile.

The outliers in both formats, like "The Sandman" or the book reviewed here aren't really indicative of either.

Re:Manga can be anything (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123679)

Sorry, but tentacle porn and pedophilia is not mainstream in the US. Neither is overblown, formulaic animation.

Re:Manga can be anything (3, Funny)

Legion_SB (1300215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26124595)

Sorry, but tentacle porn and pedophilia is not mainstream in the US.

Look, I said I'm still working on it. I can't do this shit all by myself.

Re:Manga can be anything (4, Insightful)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 5 years ago | (#26124913)

Sorry, but tentacle porn and pedophilia is not mainstream in the US.

It isn't in Japan either, despite the wide-spread myths. Otaku and other porn fetishists are not mainstream and are generally looked at with contempt by the general public.

Neither is overblown, formulaic animation.

You haven't really watched cartoons since you were too young to remember, have you? Find me an American made cartoon being put out today that isn't just as overblown and formulaic in its animation, and I'll give you three that are.

Besides, anime in Japan has two separate audiences that encourages formula for different reasons:
1) Kids shows (mainstream).
2) Adult shows (otaku oriented). Most the "edgy" stuff you see is made for a very limited, very geeky audience that is not the mainstream of Japanese culture.

Formula is common in kids shows because it's cheap, easy, and kids aren't old enough to be tired of it yet. (Same reason it's widespread in American animation.) Formula is common in adult geek shows because geeks eat up repetition and familiar territory (and haven't grown up out of childish ways). Sorry to offend, but that's the truth. (Endless Monty Python jokes and trolling memes, anyone?)

A lot of Japano-philes don't understand that there is a segregation between the shows shown on afternoon prime-time on public broadcast and the shows that only come out direct to video or are shown on premium cable channels, often late at night. And a lot of the sneering types are just as ignorant, as you yourself demonstrate. It's not all porn, and it's not all mainstream. Those are completely separate markets.

Japan isn't THAT alien compared to America, and they aren't all anime freaks who love weird sexual fetishes like people think. (And we're not all arrogant gun-toting cowboy maniacs with blond hair and blue eyes, like they seem to think we are.) People just play this crap up. Japan has no shortage of people hitting the bully pulpit about degrading public morals nor of people who think total nerds are repellent.

Re:Manga can be anything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26123765)

American comics seem to, by and large, come in two styles.

First, there's the 'super heroes' format.

Second, there's the 'edgy and "adult"' format.

Anyone know of any popular "instructional series" comic books/graphic novels? Or any that fall outside the above formats? I'm genuinely curious.

Education comics (1)

qbzzt (11136) | more than 5 years ago | (#26124709)

Anyone know of any popular "instructional series" comic books/graphic novels?

Larry Gonick's work [amazon.com] .

Re:Manga can be anything (1)

atraintocry (1183485) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123793)

I dunno about Sandman, but every comic shop I've been in (which, admittedly, is only a few) has had tons of Vertigo, and if it was in the back that was only because the imprint starts with a "V".

But you're right, there's probably a lot more people reading the traditional superhero stories than Preacher, Transmetropolitan, etc.

Re:Manga can be anything (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123563)

Yes, I read all kinds of comics (some superhero, a little manga, mostly graphic novels). But the vast majority of American comics (by unit volume) are about people in spandex punching each other... not really suitable for kids, but plenty juvenile. Since manga emerged as a publishing phenomenon in post-WWII Japan, it has never suffered from that problem (mostly because it never had to deal with the cultural McCarthyism the U.S. went through in the 1950s, during which "comics are for kids" was very nearly written into law).

Re:Manga can be anything (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123713)

No, instead they allow all kinds of perversion as long as the genitalia are blurred out.

Re:Manga can be anything (1)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123837)

But isn't it odd that the bad guy in most Japanese mangas is the US or a country where the US is supposed to be? I always that that was strange. Japan and the US are great friends. Yet, the US is the bad guy in almost all of the mangas.

Re:Manga can be anything (2, Interesting)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26124963)

Big, powerful country that could crush Japan in a minute or two? Definitely a better enemy than, say, some ass backwards country with three mules and a biplane. I guess they try not to use China or Korea so much because that quickly devolves into blatant racism (Asian countries seem to be very racist towards each other) rather than just stupid stereotypes (and hell, noone minds Hollywood's depiction of the French either).

Then again Tom Clancy still casts communists as the evil guys...

Re:Manga can be anything (1)

renrutal (872592) | more than 5 years ago | (#26125001)

Dropping a bomb or two in someone else's country does that to you. Not to mention the occupation later.

Re:Manga can be anything (0, Flamebait)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26125091)

Hey, they started it. They invaded Poland.

Re:Manga can be anything (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26124075)

You've obviously been out of the U.S. comic scene for a long time. Non-superhero comics and adult fair came in back in the 90's. Now you'll see just as much variety here as anywhere else.

Re:Manga can be anything (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123741)

If you count the very deep, layered, challenging and dramatic storylines dealing with superheros in tights, then yes, American comics are far from juvenile.

Re:Manga can be anything (0, Troll)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123143)

Ugh. Where to begin with this pile-up? Manga occupies some truly weird place where homoerotic tough-guy worshiping meets up with right wing, pro-male, pro-war machismo. Here it is: someone's most delirious homo-erotic dream AND a hetero guys most brainless, macho fantasy. I'll let you tell me what that means for the culture. I'm baffled. This book was offensive to me from the first few pages. If you missed the offenses, you're pretty dumb.

Somehow, it takes a crowd of hetero guys to come up with a movie this gay (and this anti-gay!!!). Top Gun was the previous upper limit for heterosexual homoeroticism. A homosexual would have probably reached their fill before devising a half-naked villain in a speedo who wears eyeliner... probably way before our butch, half-naked hero throws a pole at him and hits him in the mouth (Mmmmm, very subtle...). And to turn the Spartan army which in reality was an ARMY OF LOVERS, into an army of homophobes. Uh yeah, OK, whatever.

I made it through very little of this junky, stupid movie. At about the 2 minute mark, the painfully dumb narration turns out to be issuing from the mouth of a drippy character who announces that Sparta has to go to war with the Persians because the Persians "don't believe in reason!" Uh huh... sure. You go to war to defend reason. Yeah. That sounds terrific. Oddly Sparta doesn't strike me as a place where anyone has ever picked up a book, or debated anything past their initial caveman grunts. 'Reason' never even makes a token appearance. How's that for perfunctory plot motivation?

By the 7 minute mark I was already thoroughly tired of the stupid script, the stupid delivery style (every line is shouted as a rallying cry) and the anti-gay provocation. Every line is a fresh piece of horsesh*t pseudo-poetry that gets shouted. Even the passing of gas would be announced by one of these hard-ons shouting: "I JUST FAHRRT-TED!!!!" If you shout every line, it must be profound and passionate right? ...or absolutely, profoundly stupid. Every frame is pretty, but it's as shallow as a movie can be, making it a worthy successor to the very vapid Sin City. The silly production design seems to cause all the remaining nonsense I could bear to fast-forward through. If you're going to war, would you only wear a speedo? If you go to Sparta to announce that Spartans are your new scapegoat, do you stand a foot away from the decorative hole to infinity at the center of town?

Frank Miller & Gerard Butler are on my boycott list after this homophobic crap. Would anyone make a movie today in which we root for an army that vilifies black people? Why do these schmoes get a pass on this deeply objectionable movie? Butler is a Neanderthal. Good luck pulling your career out of the hole it's in Gerard. You might consider whether the scripts you accept reflect current values or those of fifty years ago. How many anti-straight-boy movies could these fan-boys put up with? Let me tell you, when Hollywood eventually starts making them, they'll be long overdue.

The ideal audience for this may be heterosexuals mourning the lost "culture of virility" with man-boys pining for a time when they weren't towing the line of women cutting them off from sex to get their way.

LOL, wut?

=Smidge=

Re:Manga can be anything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26123279)

Man, you seem nervous. How come you see so much stuff about homosexuals everywhere. You need to relax... On way or another. I don't care. Pardon the pun.

Re:Manga can be anything (2, Insightful)

Haoie (1277294) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123227)

Anime is a bit more limited, since production costs are significantly higher.

Still, animes have been made about some weird, weird things.

Larry Gonick ... (5, Informative)

frogzilla (1229188) | more than 5 years ago | (#26122885)

Larry Gonick has been doing this in english for a long time. His books are good. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that they have been translated into japanese.

Larry Gonick's Cartoon Guide to Statistics [larrygonick.com] .

Re:Larry Gonick ... (2, Informative)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123219)

Larry Gonick has been doing this in english for a long time. His books are good.

Just wanted to second this. I have his History of the Universe (the first two collections), History of the United States, and Cartoon Guide to Sex. All excellent. www.larrygonick.com [larrygonick.com] for more info.

Re:Larry Gonick ... (1)

Neeperando (1270890) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123745)

I had a professor assign his Cartoon Guide to Genetics as a required textbook for a biology class for CS majors.

Also, the Cartoon History of the Universe actually taught my wife some history, and she punches me if I leave the TV on the History Channel for more than 2 seconds.

Re:Larry Gonick ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26123891)

Larry Gonick has been doing this in english for a long time. His books are good.

Just wanted to second this. I have his History of the Universe (the first two collections), History of the United States, and Cartoon Guide to Sex. All excellent. www.larrygonick.com [larrygonick.com] for more info.

What?! I always thought "hands on her" experience was better. And this from Mr. Slippery.

Re:Larry Gonick ... (2, Interesting)

IorDMUX (870522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26124101)

Larry Gonick has been doing this in english for a long time. His books are good.

Hear hear!

I was able to understand parts of Larry Gonick's Cartoon Guide to Physics while in elementary school, and it gave me quite the head start to ace AP Physics in high school. I went on to use the same book to help study for my intro Engineering-Physics exams in Undergrad, and still pick it up from time to time for a good laugh.

While his guides are not driven by overarching plot lines or motivated by romantic subplots, they're still an engaging and amusing read for anyone with an interest in the subject--be it a beginner's or a master's interest.

But there's still pedophilia, right? (-1, Troll)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26122905)

It's great to move forward with new innovations, but let's not forget our roots here.

Re:But there's still pedophilia, right? (1)

genner (694963) | more than 5 years ago | (#26122921)

It's great to move forward with new innovations, but let's not forget our roots here.

15 is legal in some states.

Re:But there's still pedophilia, right? (-1, Troll)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123043)

... but only if you're brother and sister. Which reminds me, anyone here from Alabama?

Thank you, I'm here all week - try the tuna salad!

Re:But there's still pedophilia, right? (1)

triso (67491) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123107)

It's great to move forward with new innovations, but let's not forget our roots here.

15 is legal in some states.

What about in Japan?

Re:But there's still pedophilia, right? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26123465)

Where in the book does it say 15?
Perhaps, I've missed something...

Re:But there's still pedophilia, right? (2, Informative)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123881)

I thought I had seen that - I just did a quick skim back through the book and maybe I was mistaken. It does say she's a highschool junior - which would probably be older than 15 - 16 or 17 maybe. I'm not sure of the age Japanese children start grade school.

Chapter 7 is on estimation (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26125211)

The 95% confidence interval is fifteen years, 8 months to sixteen and three.

Re:But there's still pedophilia, right? (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123743)

Any age is OK in Japan, as long as the genitals are blurred out.

Re:But there's still pedophilia, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26123857)

National age of consent is 13, prefectures may have their own additional restrictions.

Re:But there's still pedophilia, right? (1)

story645 (1278106) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123775)

15 is legal in some states.

Only with a partner between the ages of 15 and 18, excluding marriage, in many states. Statutory rape laws and all that. Not the best citation, but it works. [about.com]

Re:But there's still pedophilia, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26123319)

But there's still pedophilia, right?

You mean lolicon/shotacon? Drawings are not CP.

Re:But there's still pedophilia, right? (1)

6Yankee (597075) | more than 5 years ago | (#26124045)

Tell that to the Aussies...

Paper shortage (1)

Applekid (993327) | more than 5 years ago | (#26122959)

The graphic style of story telling is entertaining but limits the space for more text.

Well that's silly. If the author wanted more text on subjects they would have written it. Replacing a page of text for a page of graphics makes about as much sense as, well, replacing a page of graphics for a page of text: no replacements are needed.

Not too uncommon for Asian math texts (4, Funny)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123115)

Here, check out this gem. Possibly NSFW. [joeydevilla.com]

Translation here. [joeydevilla.com]

Re:Not too uncommon for Asian math texts (1)

chappel (1069900) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123643)

Stupid filter at work blocks Larry Gonick's cartoon guide to statistics as 'not work related', but didn't have a problem with the Korean math example (which is just brilliant; to bad more folks in the US don't have that kind of sense of humor).

Re:Not too uncommon for Asian math texts (2, Insightful)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123797)

Oh, I agree totally. I thought it was greatly funny. I wouldn't have a problem with it at all. A trig problem on how to stare up a woman's skirt at her panties. I mean really - how manga can you get? =)

It's a shame that we have this cultural hangover about stuff like this. My pet theory is that it is because we were originally founded by Puritans and for some reason we've never gotten over it. People absolutely lose their minds over trivial stuff like this. It's bizarre.

Not me though. My kid will grow up watching all kinds of good stuff. For instance, Ranma 1/2. Very cute cartoon, lots of fun. And I think the occasional nudity will impress upon the kid that there isn't anything wrong with it. I think if we all treated it like it was no big deal, it would eventually become no big deal.

wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26123161)

SHIIIIIII-N

Pre-Ordered the Database Edition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26123203)

I pre-ordered the Manga Guide to Databases from Amazon. It was due to be released Dec 1st, but Amazon is still waiting on the publisher.

Just a heads up. I don't think it's been scanlated, either.

Excel for statistics (5, Insightful)

MicktheMech (697533) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123215)

There is an entire section in the back of the book about how to do statistics using Microsoft Excel.

The correct answer is don't.

Re:Excel for statistics (4, Funny)

0racle (667029) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123455)

The Microsoft Excel Saga.

Re:Excel for statistics (3, Funny)

MsGeek (162936) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123593)

Endorsed by Il Palazzo!!! But what about Pedro?

Re:Excel for statistics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26124887)

NOOOOOOO! VERY NOOOOOO!

Re:Excel for statistics (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123983)

The Microsoft Excel Saga.

Where our spandex-clad Ballmerman can throw chairs faster than a speeding bullet. And deviate standards with a bloodcurdling "developers! developers! developers!"

Quick! To the grey Lexus! Holy blue screen of death, Ballmerman!

Re:Excel for statistics (1)

SirLurksAlot (1169039) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123603)

Why? Excel is great for manipulating large sets of data. I've used it for a number of stats projects and it is a huge time-saver. You give it the data and the formulas and it does all the grunt work just as well as a TI-8x, except in a more portable format. Don't like the .xls or .xlsx format? Save as a CSV file. Even better, you can copy the data from Excel into Minitab [minitab.com] (Yes, I'm aware that this software is not free, but it is effective, and happened to be required for the class I was taking at the time.) and start generating nice graphical representations of that data. I don't know what your beef with using Excel (or spreadsheet apps) for statistics is, but your comment certainly doesn't merit an "insightful" mod without anything to back it up. By the way everything I've just said can be applied to whatever FOSS alternative you prefer.

Re:Excel for statistics (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26123819)

No, Excel is crap [vanderbilt.edu] at doing statistics. As indicated in several of the citations in the link I've provided, statistical researchers have known this for over a decade and repeatedly informed MS about it. MS can't be bothered to fix it as long as most users are happy to accept any garbage Excel produces as gospel.

Re:Excel for statistics (2, Informative)

JulianoR (1286942) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123955)

Excel 97 had serious accuracy problems [acm.org] in its statistical functions, making it completely unsuitable for consumption.

The problem was not fixed [acm.org] in Excel 2000, neither it was in Excel 2002 (XP).

In Excel 2007... well, it still has the very same problems [acm.org] .

Re:Excel for statistics (1)

darkstar949 (697933) | more than 5 years ago | (#26124293)

However, the question is, for the average user that just needs to do some basic statistics, is it accurate enough? I don't have access to the journal articles, but if the errors are only exposed when you get into large datasets or advanced functions, then odds are the reason that Microsoft hasn't fixed them is because that's not the target audience of Excel and it would take too much work to fix them.

However, the fact that the functions haven't been removed yet either is a bit odd.

Re:Excel for statistics (1)

JulianoR (1286942) | more than 5 years ago | (#26124715)

It is hard to say. For the average user, to calculate the average price of a bowl of ramen in a series of ramen shops, it may be fine. For an average statistician, scientist or engineer, it is probably too risky to rely even trivial decisions on these inaccuracies. The problem is that people use whatever tool seems to work without knowing that it has problems.

Re:Excel for statistics (2, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#26125153)

Spreadsheets are good way to get a feel for statistics. The problem is, and why so many dislike the spreadsheet as mathematical tool, they are also a good way of getting answers with no understanding of why they answers are right. Ont thing that one can do, and one thing my profs did, was make me write about the process of how I got the answers, and how the methods that software used, in addition to reporting the actual results.

What this did was to insure that I was using the spreadsheet as a tool, no a crutch. Therefore, when my data sets were no longer suited to a spreadsheet, I was able to move to other tools. This happened pretty quickly as I moved to real world science data sets, as most spreadsheets are not science oriented. OTOH, I have run into few business data sets that were not appropriate for spreadsheets.

Algebra/Trig/Calculus The Easy Way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26123365)

These are a trilogy of books written in a fictitious place and time that I used to first learn Trig and Calculus. As the title suggests, it was VERY easy to learn using a story behind all the education.

Slashkaku Dotplex - /a/ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26123449)

News for wee/a/boos, stuff that matters.

Cool story bro.

Re:Slashkaku Dotplex - /a/ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26123877)

Your ideas intrigue me. I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

Other recommendations for a good statistics guide (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26123467)

Anyone have any other recommendations for a good statistics reference guide (that I wouldn't be embarrassed to have on my bookshelf)? I'm looking for a book for when I have a question like, "If there's a 50% chance of something happening, what the probability it actually happens after 10 tries," I can just pull out the book, and just find the right formula. I don't care too much about the theory behind it or the derivation, but if the book has those too, I wouldn't mind.

Someone above recommended Larry Gonick's Cartoon Guide to Statistics, so I'll have to check that out. Any other suggestions?

Re:Other recommendations for a good statistics gui (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26123653)

Sounds like maths and anything involving an IQ higher than a chimps isn't really for you. Good news is, I hear McDonalds are hiring.

Re:Other recommendations for a good statistics gui (1)

computational super (740265) | more than 5 years ago | (#26124393)

I picked up "Probability and Statistics for Computer Scientists" by Michael Baron when I was doing my thesis research, and I can't recommend it highly enough. It's a textbook, and it reads like a textbook, but as long as you have a decent understanding of elementary calculus and a bit of linear algebra, everything else is explained, step by step.

How Can I? (-1, Redundant)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123489)

How can I take a statistical guide seriously set in a world where pricking your finger results in 1.2435466356356+10E gallons of blood spewing out that apparently was under at least 400.76432 PSI pressure spraying half of mall food court while 3 plucky teenagers are transformed into spandex wearing super ninja after finding a fossilized piece of dinosaur dung fighting demon tenticle rapists all while trying to balance a career working at a karoke bar, swooning an obviously undependable and questionable love interest that provides the reader with the only conclusion that the protagonist has some seriously questionable tastes in men\women\furniture\tenticles?

I don't think there is enough beer on Earth to make me accept this AND the fact that the anime Guy actually got a sequel! Now if you will excuse me, OH GOD PAPER CUT! DUCK AND COVER! MUST.... COMMIT.... TO ... 40 MORE SECONDS OF DIALOG.... BEFORE UNLEASHING MY TRUE POWER....

Re:How Can I? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26124087)

set in a world where pricking your finger results in 1.2435466356356+10E gallons of blood spewing out

Using such a high degree of precision is typically uncalled for in manga. In such cases simply saying "OVER 9000" will suffice.

Prof E McSquared's calculus primer (3, Interesting)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123509)

Before anybody starts too much on the "look at the Japanese, their comics are better than US comics.."

Anyone remember this for real old timer geek cred? Nicely drawn in a vaguely hippy style, some good jokes, and quite mathematically rigorous. I still have a copy.

What was especially nice was that we had an annoying lecturer at U who having got as far as generating an equation would then make handle turning gestures while feeding numbers into it to get a result; a few years later, there was E McSquared's Function Machine, complete with handle, and before the personal computer.

In Soviet Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26123529)

Manga Statistics guide reads you!

If you like this... (-1, Troll)

operagost (62405) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123633)

If you liked "The Manga Guide to Statistics," you'll love:
  • The Complete Japanese Pervert's Guide to Statistics
  • Statistics for Pedophiles
  • Tentacle Statistics in a Nutshell

Without The Love Interest Please (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123691)

This could have been a good idea, if it weren't for the ridiculous love interest angle.

Let's face it, how many fundamental concepts about science and engineering do we learn, not in school, but from educational programs or segments on TV or in other media. MacGyver, Star Trek, Mythbusters for more solid science. A lot of it is exaggerated yes, but the fact is that dramatic presentations of science do help inspire young people to see science as a career path.

Love interests though, are tacky, hackneyed and generally trite, especially in a work dealing with teenagers. Angst ridden, irrational and melodramatic farces are not the appropriate setting in which to sell science, mathematics or statistics. Many teenagers will be attracted to these fields, and indeed others, as an escape from all the bullshit they have to put up with in teenage social circles. Throwing all that bullshit right back into a publication designed to sell science is going to be counterproductive. People do not read Sci-Fi novels for the sex(in most cases).

It is particularly poor form for the writer to make the main character a young girl, and to have her more interested in a silly relationship than in the topic the manga is supposed to be promoting. And yes, crushes and such are silly and frankly demeaning things in the way they are portrayed, particularly when it comes to young women and girls. It's a slap in the face to every girl with an interest in STEM to open this publication and have their supposed role model revert to a giggling schoolgirl in a mini-skirt chasing a man. This manga is probably not going to convert many talented people to statistics.

I think the general pervasiveness of love interests, sex, etc in representations of young people in the media, is due more to adult obsession with the sexual lives of teenagers, rather than the reality of teenage life. In fact, the reality is that teenagers are having less sex now than in 1991. [medicalnewstoday.com] The stereotyped view of teenage life we are presented with is probably exaggerated/and or out of date.

So writers, please. Sell the science, not the sex.

Re:Without The Love Interest Please (2, Insightful)

SirLurksAlot (1169039) | more than 5 years ago | (#26124013)

Let's face it, how many fundamental concepts about science and engineering do we learn, not in school, but from educational programs or segments on TV or in other media. MacGyver, Star Trek, Mythbusters for more solid science. A lot of it is exaggerated yes, but the fact is that dramatic presentations of science do help inspire young people to see science as a career path.

You're not really pointing at television shows as paramounts of solid science are you? Mythbusters sure, I can see that, but MacGyver and Star Trek? Please. They might be great for inspiring interest in STEM but they're hardly chock-full of accurate information.

*snip your whole rant about love interests*
Look, if this gets even one more person interested in STEM subjects I say great. It is obvious that the traditional methods encouragement aren't working. If creating a manga book about statistics is what it takes then I'm all for it. No one is forcing you to buy the book, no one is forcing your kids to read it.

Then again maybe I should've just paid more attention to your username :-P

I bought this book, and thought it was a waste (2, Interesting)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123703)

My gf was taking statistics last semester, her first math class in 10 years. She's dyslexic, particularly with respect to numbers, and was terrified of the class and I figured the book might help.
Both of us found the format and presentation to be more distracting than informational.
If you think statistics is boring, maybe this will make it interesting. If you think statistics is *difficult*, this probably won't do anything for you that a conventional stats book, except provide pretty pictures. And, since story problems don't seem to make people learn better [itwire.com] than just learning the basic math using abstract variable names, why not just do that?

Re:I bought this book, and thought it was a waste (1)

Cowmonaut (989226) | more than 5 years ago | (#26124157)

Serious question: Can you even be dyslexic when it comes to numbers? I'm not familiar with dyslexia really and I figured it was *anything* written, not anything specific.

On the topic, manga seem to have more text than your typical comic book. At least the ones I've seen. Would that cause an issue for someone with dyslexia? Or would having the images associated with the text still be helpful?

Re:I bought this book, and thought it was a waste (1)

Pandare (975485) | more than 5 years ago | (#26124901)

You sure can. [wikipedia.org] My SO has this, and it's frustrating for both her and me. I tried helping her with algebra the third time she took it, and I couldn't make it to the end of the row before she forgot what we were talking about. On the plus side, she gets extra financial aid for having a learning disability.

Re:I bought this book, and thought it was a waste (1)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 5 years ago | (#26125121)

It's both painful and frustrating watching my girlfriend try and deal with numbers. She can read words *extremely* rapidly, with perfect comprehension, and with some proofreading she can type fairly well.
But if I tell her an address, say, 3448 Harlan, she'll write down "3884" and look at it and say "that's wrong" and write down "3848" and say "that's wrong too" and write down "3448" and say "I just can't write this down right" and erase the correct one and try again.
She says the numbers actually wiggle into different forms while she's watching them. She's completely unable to tell whether the number she wrote down is the same as another number she's looking at.
(not *completely*, as it happens: as in my example, she gets the first digit right about 80% of the time or more. But past that it's close to random, although they're often the correct digits, interchanged, and only sometimes completely different numbers.)

Like the other person who replied to you, my gf has taken algebra, and failed it, four times. She understands the concepts. She understands the concepts of calculus because I've explained them. But it is physically impossible for her to correctly read or write numbers.
Sucks, coz she's an incredibly bright person, and she would've been a good engineer. As it is, she's getting a degree in communications.

Akin to Britney's Guide to Semiconductor Physics (2, Insightful)

Morgaine (4316) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123763)

It's not only in the far east that such different subjects are sometimes juxtaposed for effect.

Don't forget our own utterly fantastic Britney Spears' Guide to Semiconductor Physics [britneyspears.ac] on this side of the world, which really deserves a medal. If a blend of pop culture and highly mathematical science raises a smile at the same time as presenting some serious physics, maybe the approach isn't as barmy as it seems.

Also remember that we do something similar in computing too, for instance in Head First Design Patterns [oreilly.com] and other books in the series, which present their material through silly little stories. A lot of people seem to like that approach.

There's more than one way to skin a cat, and that seems to apply to technical literature too.

Re:Akin to Britney's Guide to Semiconductor Physic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26124443)

Another fine example of comic humor and technical literature combined...

Chunky bacon.

Google it. If you dare.

Re:Akin to Britney's Guide to Semiconductor Physic (1)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 5 years ago | (#26124583)

You mean there's more than one way to write a book about each of the ways to skin a cat, too?!

for a moment... (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123879)

i could have sworn the text said she wanted to be tortured...

Turn back one page (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#26124169)

The page you are looking at says

"she wants to be tortured."

Turn back one page:

"What are the odds that"

I don't know about the mean and median... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123963)

What many may not have seen in manga before are things like calculating the mean, median and deviation of bowling scores.

But I'd be pretty surprised if there was ANY kind of deviation they haven't covered.

Fortran Coloring Book? (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#26124125)

Is there a Manga Guide to Fortran, or whatever it is they are teaching kids these days?

For those too young to remember: The cover [gwu.edu] , at the author's web site.

You had me at... (1)

Legion_SB (1300215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26124475)

The story line is relatively simple. The protagonist, Rui is a teenage girl.

Sold!

Fourier Transforms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26124813)

You can check out, "Who is Fourier" which is a gentle introduction to Fourier series in cartoon style....Also from Japan....

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