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Who Is Fourier? a Mathematical Adventure [Paperback]

Transnational College of Lex Tokyo , Yo Sakakibara , Alan Gleason
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 1995
In Who is Fourier? A Mathematical Adventure, the student authors take the reader along on their adventure of discovery of Fourier's wave analysis, creating a work that gradually moves from basics to the more complicated mathematics of trigonometry, exponentiation, differentiation, and integration. This is done in a way that is not only easy to understand, but is actually fun!

Professors and engineers, with high school and college students following closely, comprise the largest percentage of our readers. It is a must-have for anyone interested in music, mathematics, physics, engineering, or complex science.

Dr. Yoichiro Nambu, 2008 Nobel Prize Winner in Physics, served as a senior adviser to the English version of Who is Fourier? A Mathematical Adventure.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 435 pages
  • Publisher: Language Research Foundation (April 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0964350408
  • ISBN-13: 978-0964350403
  • Product Dimensions: 28 x 21.6 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 555,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

The Transnational College of LEX (TCL) in Tokyo, Japan, is a research institute run by the Hippo Family Club, an organization dedicated to the natural acquisition of multiple languages and to cultural exchange programs. At TCL the students study subjects related to the natural science of language and humanity. They approach mathematics, physics, biology, and other subjects from a viewpoint that transcends disciplines. The students are especially interested in investigating how humans acquire language and ways of developing a natural learning environment. TCL students gather information, research, and discover together. They are aided by Senior Fellows, experts in their fields who advise the students and who are invited to speak about topics of interest in their own research.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Math Book I Ever Read 27 July 1999
By A Customer
This is the best math book I ever read. Before reading it I had a vague knowledge of Fourier series (that you could decompose a curve into a sum of simple sine and cosine waves) but I had no idea of the power of this method or its applications. After reading it (several times) I'm pretty well versed (or at least I talk like I am) in Fourier series, Fourier coefficients, discrete Fourier expansions, Fourier transforms and FFTs (fast Fourier transforms), certainly enough to read and understand (in a brief search of the web) applications such as finding buried landmines, identifying aircraft as friend or foe, recovering latent fingerprints, or compressing data to a fraction of the original size.
What impressed me more, however, was that I understood why there are only five vowels in the English language, why an infinite vector space is equivalent to a Fourier expansion, and why Heinsenberg's uncertainty principle makes perfect intuitive sense. This book is nothing if not eclectic, and the range of topics discussed is immense.
If I hadn't already studied calculus and linear algebra in college I would also, for the first time, understand differentiation, integration, vector spaces, Euler's formula, Maclaurin series and the number e, all of which are presented with unusual clarity. This book is a tour de force, a summary of almost everything that is interersting (at least to me) in mathematics.
You have to get beyond certain things when you read this book. Understand that it was written by a bunch of kids and is replete with cartoon characters saying things like "Good grief!" and subbplots in which, for example, the "Non-periodic kid" sends taunting messages to the Magistrate and his constables.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This is undoubtedly one of the best maths books anyone can read. It is written by a language school, who aim to make mathematics clear to everyone. This is probably why they manage it. There are no mathematical egos here as in normal textbooks.
The book is extremely cleverly written. You just cannot put it down. I found myself going from 14yr old maths to 22yr old with ease. The description of the basics of maths is done well, from numbers, exponents, trigonometry, waves, equations, simultaneous equations, diff. & int. (not that good; better read 'Calculus Made Easy') to linear algebra and complex numbers. This all leads to Fourier transforms.
As a maths student, I could never have expected to understand all of this so quickly (i've read the book in a week) and I highly recommend it to anyone studying maths at any level.
Warning: the explanation is excellent. Not for 'proper' mathematicians to read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must buy for all students 12 Jun 1999
By A Customer
Most math teachers can't teach. Whatever they do largely amounts to 'telling' as opposed to teaching. This book written by Japanese students is a gem. It is a rarity to find a book where the reader will share the authors experience and enthusiasm of discovery. Buy this book and learn what mathematics is all about.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo! 31 Jan 2005
Who is Fourier is the ideal book for interested persons wanting to get a good grasp of Fourier Theory. It slowly guides the reader through the theory of how to convert a signal in the time domain into a signal in the frequency domain. This elegant task is often skipped in many textbooks and only brielfy described by one or two formulas. This book breaks down the formulas to their humble beginnings and in doing so the reader gains a deep insight to the workings of the Fourier Transform. The number e and i and several other useful subjects are also discussed in this book as is the FFT. This book brings the best Transform of all time into the hands of all.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "It can be shown that..." 24 April 1998
By A Customer
My introduction to Fourier mathematics was as a chemistry undergraduate - it was always irritating to keep seeing these equations introduced in FTIR and NMR texts with the apparently obligatory "it can be shown that...". But, of course, it was never shown in a clear manner.

This book is filled with cartoons and rather simplistic explanations, but it also has the nuts and bolts of what the basic underlying assumptions are, and you finish with a set of about 20 revised pages of mathematics which give you a very clear picture, and a comfortable one as well, of just what is involved in the Fourier mathematics.

I give this book high marks and much praise. And also am very grateful to the authors for demystifying a rather abstruse mathematical topic; I feel much more comfortable with spectroscopy having read it, and having now some idea of what is actually going on in the black box of the spectrophotometer.
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By A Customer
This book is entertaining, enlightning and engaging. How many times have I encountered this subject during my studies only to go away feeling like I hadn't fully grasped it! This book will take you step by step through the math. NO steps left "for the reader". The book is clear, concise and humorous. It has made me want to get out my old math books and tackle the problems again now that I am armed with a richer understanding. Besides Fourier analysis you get bonus points with excursions into what's behind "e", "i" and Euler's formula!
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