Mathematical Exploration with Microsoft Excel

Introduction

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Microsoft Excel is a program that has been around since the 80s. Most people with a computer have used the program at least once. What is so surprising to many, though, is the capabilities it has beyond the simple everyday uses. The program has a myriad of function to meet statistical, engineering and financial needs. It can also display data in more useful ways such as line graphs, histograms, and charts.

In this unit you will explore how Microsoft Excel could be used in a mathematics classroom. We will begin by taking a data set from a textbook and inputting it into Excel in such a way that it will be useful. We will also go over how to create various types of graphs from this data and how to find the line of regression.

Unit Objectives

  • Demonstrate an understanding of possible misconceptions and limitations when using Excel
  • Demonstrate the ability to input information into Excel from a data set
  • Demonstrate the ability to find mean and range from a set of data
  • Demonstrate the ability to create a graph from a set of data
  • Demonstrate the ability to use a pre-designed program in a classroom


Red1.gif Lesson 1: Introduction to Microsoft Excel

Red1.gif Lesson 2: Exploring Ratios

Summary

Though many people have used Microsoft Excel there are many aspects of the program that have not been explored or used. This was just a simple view of capabilities that the program has. Graphs help students visually grasp ideas and concepts. Look at the graph below - what is more valuable - saying that IL had higher sales than NE or showing this graph?

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When using this program in a classroom allow students to explore. They may find different features and aspects that you have not yet discovered. For more help, tips, and tutorials using Microsoft Excel check out: [1]


Continue to Unit 2: Mathematical Exploration with Geometer's Sketchpad (GSP)

Back to: Integrating Technology in Mathematics