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

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:

1 Like

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)
1 Like

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.

1 Like

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.

1 Like

I’ll be pretty busy for the next four weeks, so I might sit this one out. I’ll try to drop by from time to time in the reading thread though.

1 Like

Would this thread be interested in learning some more basic concepts? Here is a site that explains elementary and middle school subjects (and a bit of math 1 for high school) made for native Japanese school kids. I’ve watched one video on their elementary school 5th grade math section just to check it out and it seems really easy to understand.


That looks easier to navigate than NHK for School just based on the layout. Thanks for the link!


Thanks for sharing your opinion. I’m happy to go with the one way or the other.

Thanks for suggesting it. Yes, beginner level seems to be suitable. I’ll check in with @Micki senpai and maybe tag a few more durtles who (I think) are interested in CS related topics. → In case you or others have ideas about advertising feel free to go for them :slight_smile:

Thanks for sharing. No worries at all, please take your time.

Thanks for sharing the link. As they have other topics, like kokugo or shakai studies as well, this resource might be interesting to advertise in the The Ultimate Additional Japanese Resources List! thread as well :slight_smile: @Kraits senpai: how do you feel?

1 Like

Oh yes, I was just looking at this the other day. I’ve just put it in the General practice and tests section. Thanks for the suggestion!


The current reading is going into its last week so it is time to open the votes for what to read next :slight_smile:

Since we read about computers and some of their use case for the last couple of weeks, how do feel about something math related next? Do you like for going something longer again or maybe couple of short articles / exercises instead?

Also, I’d like to propose a small break for maybe a week as I have some high workload coming up for the next two weeks. At least, in case you’d like to go for another book.

How do you guys feel?


Math sounds good to me! Usually I’m in favour of books but I’m trying to save some money (not a fan of ebooks, and constantly ordering books from Japan is quite expensive) so I’d prefer some kind of online resource.

Does anyone know if there are any popular science blogs or magazines in Japanese that also cover math topics? I thought that reading a few articles from something similar to Quanta Magazine would be fun but I’m not that good at googling stuff in Japanese yet so I’m not sure if that’s an option.

A break would definitely be nice, we could also go for a two week break if you want to.


Selectable, copy-pastable text, I guess? (I don’t have any particular resources in mind at the moment though. I wonder if NHK for School has high school level stuff that isn’t hard to understand. I think that would be a good balance between being intellectually stimulating and not too advanced for Japanese learners.)

1 Like

I was already thinking, maybe it would be a good idea to read a Wikipedia article about certain subjects, e.g. basic calculus or the like?
(Having said that, I haven’t looked at the quality of the maths articles on Japanese wikipedia, but at least the German and English ones are usually amazingly good and detailed.)


42 is absolute thruth answer checkmate everyone.


I like that idea! From the few I’ve looked at so far, they seem to be on a similar level as German/English ones


That sounds really nice. I feel that reading books without hearing it might ‘cement’ bad pronunciation. It has Japanese CC (not only generated). So it would be win win.

Reading a wiki sounds also good. Would be fun to refresh my memory on basic combinatorics or probability…

1 Like

I like the different ideas as well and I am thinking if we might can combine them…

I looked into the first couple of videos and I agree, they might provide a nice vocab introduction. They do have Japanese subtitles so we could do a combination of listening practice and “reading” the Japanese subtitles.

So far they cover four different parts

  • Basic terms and classification of numbers
  • basic geometry terms
  • basic statistical terms and data visualization
  • basic algebra terms

Thanks for looking into it. I like the idea of reading some WP article.

How about the following: One week we start with going through some of the videos from the recommended “math in Japanese” YT channel (those that belong to the same part) and the following week(s) read up on some related topics in the Japanese WP?

→ The video gives us some basic overview / reminder of some needed vocab items
→ The WP article gives some more in-depth information on the topic itself

I’m not really familiar with NHK for School (yet) but I took a brief look into it earlier today. Looks like the videos are more into applying math to situations / tasks in everyday life.

Again, maybe we can find videos over there that are (somehow) related to one of the WP articles we are reading and then go through the video afterwards.

Could be something like the following:

  • first week: go through one of the parts on the YT channel
  • second (- nth) week: read interesting article(s) on WP
  • n+1st week: go through so examples to apply the previous learned stuff, e.g. video(s) from NHK school or link it to some CS related topics or…
  • in case we like it: repeat but with different topic

Does this make sense? Would you be interested?

Thanks. We can decide depending how you and others will be available as well :slight_smile:

Feel free to join us. I’m quite confident practicing won’t make it worse :upside_down_face: