Electronic Proceedings of the Tenth Annual International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics

Chicago, Illinois, November 6-9, 1997

Paper P007

Mathematics with Spreadsheets

Bahram Golshan

Lycoming College
Williamsport, PA 17701
Phone: (717) 321-4277

Click to access this paper: paper.html


Most institutions would not justify offering a spreadsheet course void of any real applications. Although most people think of a spreadsheet as a number crunching and charting tool, today's spreadsheets are at home in variety of other mathematical concepts. With the most recent spreadsheets such as Microsoft Excel, one can perform tasks such as finding the maximum and minimum of functions, approximating roots of equations, and approximating solutions of systems of equations. In addition, they can be used to study polynomials, normal and discrete probability distribution functions, linear programming, binomial expansions, and amortization. The paper details some sections from my freshmen level course notes which is designed to teach Microsoft Excel in the context of mathematical applications and problems. The course is designed so that it can be used as a general mathematics distribution fulfillment. Examples shown include, approximating roots of a polynomials, and 'visually' proving trigonometric identities such as sin (PI/2 - x ) = cos x.

Keyword(s): spreadsheets, trigonometry, college algebra, applications