Debate on... Math and Computer Science [Home Thread]

I updated the wiki post with the vocabulary I posted the other day. There’s actually more that can be extracted from the solution I posted, including terms like ‘relatively prime’, but I should be getting on with other maths (in French) at the moment, so I won’t be doing it myself. I’d encourage everyone else to take a look, especially because the maths involved in the solution shouldn’t be too hard to understand as long as you’ve studied maths up to about high school level.


That’s what my misconception was yesterday. Thanks to both of you for taking the time to clarify it. I really appreciate that.

Thanks for sharing your perspective on ℕ with or without zero. We might run into this while reading different texts and the given sources might handle it differently as well. So it is good thing to keep in mind, I think.

I made similar experience at university. Some professors included the zero and others didn’t. Depending on what their defaut was they sometimes used notations like ℕ_0 or ℕ\backslash\{0\} to exceptionally include or exclude the zero.

Also, I like the suggestion @Naphthalene senpai made about adding math notations for clarification from time to time. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks for turning the second post of this thread into a wiki. Yes, that’s the one :slight_smile:

Thanks for sharing feedback and further suggestions on the wiki post.
My main idea yesterday was to provide a basic infrastructure for note taking and discussions. I feel having a wiki post might be helpful as everyone can edit it and we can highlight stuff that becomes important / useful for us along the discussion.
I never mentioned it though, that this isn’t completely thought through but more a “work in progress”. :sweat_smile:

Thank to everyone taking their time to make sense out of it and already adding some vocabulary terms. I’ll try to add some clarifications later on or tomorrow but also feel free to make changes in case some ideas come into your mind :slight_smile:

Thanks for sharing, this could indeed become in handy. Which IME are you talking about? The one on WK or something else?


I also want to thank everyone sharing different suggestions for web articles or books to read. That’s really great. Especially with the web articles we can basically start immediately.

As I don’t have much book club experience either I am thinking of lurking a little bit into the different book club formats we already have here in the community. For example I’ve seen some really nice ideas and structuring elememts @Micki senpai is using in the Absolute Beginners Book Club I think will be very helpful for us as well. …And I hope it is fine we copy them :blush:

One of things I’ve seen in other book clubs is that they create dedicated sub threads for the actual reading. That’s something I’d like to apply as well as I feel it keeps the discussion focused. And if others wants to read the same texts at a later time (sef-paced) they have a dedicated entrypoint.

Apart from that, I have a couple of ideas in mind how we could get things started:

  • I like @Jonapedia senpais suggestion to look into the mondai they posted yesterday and to extract some vocabulary terms out of it and familiarize ourselves with the phrasing.
  • This gives us time to collect some further resources on a similar level to read on. It also gives us time to look into some CS based articles we could read. @caiomiyashiro senpai already gave some suggestions topic wise.
  • Starting with short articles or only parts of an article (maybe a definition or the phrasing of a theorem…) gives us time to experiment with the format, gauge our level and time we wish to spend on one topic
  • We can try to alternate reading math and CS based topics

How do you feel?

Thanks for sharing. We can nominate it for a first book based reading, if you like. We don’t have to start with it immediately but it will give everyone that would be interested in reading along time to buy the book.

Thanks for sharing the links to these (upcoming) intermediate and advanced book club readings :slight_smile:


Agreed, it’d be nice to keep things organised.

I like the idea of starting with a web resource. I gotta say, I’m quite excited to get started, so not having to wait several weeks for a book to arrive would be great :smile:

We could probably follow the book club method of collecting nominations and then having a poll to decide which resource to tackle. Maybe we could have separate polls for maths and CS? That way we could make sure to keep things balanced.


I’m talking about the Microsoft IME. So you type しゅうごう then press space to show the menu of things you can turn that input into, which includes a bunch of logic symbols

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Yesterday I kind of hit forum maintenance period but today my changes to the wiki post were saved :slight_smile:

I’ve added some guidelines and proposal lists for upcoming readings. I heavily relied on the outline of the other book clubs around and made some adjustments as we might use more web related resources or some durtles might wish to propose papers. Please double check if the changes make any sense to you. Feel free to change and enhance parts of it in case it doesn’t :sweat_smile:

I feel the same. How about scheduling the first book for roughly mid May or beginning of June? So we have time to poll and to order it.

In the meantime we can read short web articles / snippets. To keep the entrance barriers low I’d suggest to tackle articles / snippets we can go through within one week. Then the commitment needed is very low and we can have a nice mix of different subjects.

Agreed. I made two different subsections for math related suggestions and CS related suggestions. How about having two bi-weekly threads:

  • math related articles / snippets
  • Cs related articles / snippets

To get things started I’ll create a math reading thread (after I’ve done my reviews :laughing:) → we will need some CS related suggestions so we can have a short poll - maybe at the weekend - what to read next week. After this we need more math related suggestions :slight_smile:

@NyappyTiramisu and @caiomiyashiro senpai as the manga de wakaru series is a series… do you feel like recommending a particular book out of the series? This would be a nice tryout if the proposal template works for us as well :innocent:

Cool. Thanks for clarifying. Definitely sounds helpful.

Edit: and here is the first reading thread

Because “God made the integers natural numbers; all the rest is the work of Man” to count existing objects. If there is no object, you do not count it. Hence N = {1, 2, …}, while Z = {…, -1, 0, 1,…} :slight_smile: Indeed much better to stick to symbols than words for math definitions.


We come into this world with nothing, and we leave this world taking nothing with us, so… isn’t that the most natural state of them all? :thinking:
But maybe it’s only about assigning a number to this state or not. That’s a stance I can agree on. Thanks!


By not being a mathematician, it’s interesting when people philosophically discuss topics where I was always “what, wasn’t that obvious?” :sweat_smile:. Then you search it and it’s a whole new hole.

With a random google search, it seems 0 just arrived in Europe in the 12th century! That seems like yesterday for numbers no?

What is the origin of zero? How did we indicate nothingness before zero? - Scientific American.


I gave a quick search at here and these are the ones that got my interest:

*Regression Analysis
*Intro to Physics light, sound, and waves

*Machine learning

However, if I could guess, these topics are more advanced than we proposed as introductory (e.g., simple math problems or intro to programming). Also, after a (super) brief search on, it seems even there, a few of these books are only physical and not available for kindle. So, if we go for that, we would have to figure out how.

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Looking at the table of contents (Japanese / English) , I feel like Linear Algebra might be a good starting point, since there’s an early chapter devoted to teaching fundamentals of mathematics like sets and functions, which might be useful in general.

For more CS resources, here are two I found:
Progate - a website for learning to code, the first 18 lessons are available for free. I feel like this might be suitable for the “short online resources” section if we only tackle a few lessons, or we could go through the whole course.

Intro to CS MOOC - this one is from edx and more of a longer resource (it says 4 weeks on the website but I feel like it would be better to take our time, maybe 8-12 weeks?), but maybe not a beginner resource (or maybe I’m just afraid of having to deal with my subpar listening skills :sweat_smile:)

Sorry for not using the template but I’m in a bit of a hurry, I can use the proper format in a later post :sweat_smile:


Well there’s some history attached to it, which typically comes down that 0 was a confusing concept and it took hundreds of years to get used to the idea. After people saw how useful it could be they started embracing it. Negative numbers and complex numbers had something similar going on.

Then there’s a matter of taste which comes from personal beliefs. Had one teacher argue that if 0 was such a natural number then why don’t we count from 0 as kids.

In a sense it doesn’t matter if you do or don’t include 0 in your definition. If you need it you can always add it into your set. What matters is that whenever you use a certain definition, especially one that differs from convention, you convey that information. Then it is clear to the reader what you mean in this context. Typically mathematicians use definitions that are handy for them, so they can proof theorems directly from them.


As for myself I mainly favor the “introductory level” on the Japanese language level. At least for the first couple of weeks. Simply to familiarize ourselves with the vocabulary terms and general wording / grammar that is used :slight_smile:

According to the website they do have transcripts. So a possible way to go with it could be:

  • watch a video → see what you’ve understood
  • go through the transcript → together as book club
  • watch the video again → see what you now can understand

And I agree, as long as no one wants to get certified we can simply find our own pace.

With the current suggestions we can do the following:

  • go through the suggested manga → 135 pages in total → we split it into multiple weeks → would be nice to finish, in case we decide for this one
  • go through the edx course → multiple videos → we split it into multiple weeks with a pace that suits us → we can try out the first video and see how it goes
  • go through a couple of lessons on prog-8 → usually the first lesson per course is free → we can cover many different topics but not in depth → one lesson per week → we can stop and switch to other resources easily

Time wise: depending on geographical or cultural background a couple of holidays are coming up in April. Due to the ongoing pandemic this may not include celebrations on a big scale but you may still want to reserve some time for family or digital meetups with friends. Is there any days / weeks you wish to pause reading sessions? Or do you feel fine to schedule it in?

  • As this thread is public to the internet… you can also drop me a message in my introductory post in the campfire section. So you don’t have to reveal personal stuff here :slight_smile:

I’d just like to point out that edX, unlike Coursera, doesn’t allow unlimited access to courses for as long as they’re online and not paywalled. You can’t endlessly audit a course and only get back to it when you want to or have the time. Once the time you’ve been given for auditing is up, you have to pay to maintain access. (Apparently you can also re-enrol for the next session, but I’m not sure how that works.) I think the free audit duration depends on the content of the course, but if I remember correctly, I was granted just two months’ access to the Japanese Pronunciation for Communication course by Waseda University: more than enough time to finish the course, I think, but only if you are regularly invested and have few other commitments. We’ll need to keep the time limit in mind if we decide to do an edX course together. I think other MOOC platforms are more forgiving, generally. It’s just a pity that Coursera doesn’t seem to have any courses in Japanese at all.


I’m seconding the Progate suggestion. It was recently suggested to me on the coding server I mod, and it looks pretty good for learning some coding vocab, especially if you know a bit about coding already.


Thanks for point that out. This is something to keep in mind if we want to go with edx.

The course seems to be available until end of July so it might be possible to try it out maybe in May or June?

I added a poll in post #3 to decide on our first CS related reading. The options are based on the current suggestions.

In general, sorry for not being perfect host these days… I’m kind of buried beneath work :see_no_evil: It will get better at the weekend… at least this is what I’m telling myself :sweat_smile:

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Looks like we will learn about computer hardware and how they can aid in everyday life first. Conpyûta no himitsu has a variety of topics and might be good resource to familiarize with different terms and expressions. It starts with a computer history related chapter, covers technical aspects like computer architecture and networking, before it introduces different use cases for computers like smart cities, digital education or health care systems. Hope you are excited :slight_smile:

Table of Contents (Spoiler)

A very brief summary of the covered topics. My translations might be a little bit liberate… We can fix them during our first week of reading :slight_smile:

Prologue - There are a lot of computers around him!

Chapter 1 - What’s a Computer?

  • History of computers
  • Types of Computers
  • “Wapro” - A computer to make documents

Chapter 2 - Computer Architecture

  • “Under the hood” (Inner parts of a computer)
  • The binary system
  • The way until notebooks

Chapter 3 - Networking Computers

  • Usage of the internet
  • What’s a smart city?
  • Danger that occur with/in the internet and counter measures

Chapter 4 - Computer with great importance

  • “K” - A super computer
  • Upcoming super computers

Chapter 5 - Computer to aid in everyday life

  • Computers to aid telescopes
  • Digital school education
  • Computer aided societies

Epiloque - Envisioning Computers

  • Ikeda Toshio - Mining natural resources with/for computers
  • What is HCIS? (Health Care Information Systems)
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I couldn’t find any print versions of this book on Amazon or CDJapan (there’s another コンピューターのひみつ that might be a heavily upgraded version with more chapters) but the version linked in the poll is available for free as an eBook here! I hope it’s not just a short promo but I couldn’t find anything, so I’m gonna hope it stays free.

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Thanks for sharing the eBook link. I created a thread for the book club reading sessions: パソコンの秘密 (Math and CS book club) and added both links in the intro post.

My suggestion would be ~one chapter per week which would make it seven weeks in total to go through the book. To balance it out with some math topics we can read it bi-weekly as well. How do others think about it?

I think weekly would be better in my opinion, seven weeks is a decent time span I think.

I also think doing some advertising in the Beginner Book Club for this reading might be good, since the book seems to be on a decent level for beginners. That way we might get some more people to join us who maybe aren’t checking this thread.

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