Mathematics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people studying math at any level and professionals in related fields. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm looking for a good book (idiot proof) for learning all the magic behind computing matrices, quaternions, euler angles, orientation in 3d space and more...

Book needs to have examples and solutions of typical problems.

I have tried several books/articles, but whenever I find my self in a situation where I have to compute something it doesn't end well.

share|cite|improve this question
What kind of things are you going to use them for? Perhaps there's a library available for you to do everything automatically. – Joe Z. Feb 28 '13 at 15:26
"learning all the magic" – BadAtMath Feb 28 '13 at 15:30
Do you really just want to know what is possible and how can I do it or do you want to know how it works? And from the context, it looks like you are thinking specifically of computer graphics? – rschwieb Feb 28 '13 at 15:30
Computer physics as a subject is anything but idiot-proof, so I'm not sure a book will help. You need to learn lots of linear algebra and calculus. – Joe Z. Feb 28 '13 at 15:40
Probably want to post this on another forum for computer game programmers. I suspect, if you are having problems reading the books you have, that maybe you rather need a refresher course in basic math. What computations are you having trouble with? Also, there is no "idiot-proof" book, because if a person is an idiot, they won't understand the math. – Thomas Andrews Feb 28 '13 at 15:55

It sounds like you could use a basic education in the fundamentals of vector algebra/vector analysis.

Find a good basic vector algebra/analysis text and/or (better yet) attend a class or find a tutor for the subject. If you're determined to learn it and you are looking for problems, then there is probably a Schaum's outline edition out there you would find useful. You do not have to go too far into the weeds with vector analysis, though.

With a basic knowledge of vector algebra, you should be able to get your head around transformations, rotations, and quaternions.

You might also find this post useful: Wanting to specialize in Computer Graphics, is a full semester of Linear Algebra really needed?

share|cite|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.