Forget Not The Lowly Spreadsheet

Forget Not the Lowly Spreadsheet

Author: Michael G. Henle

The College Mathematics Journal, Vol. 26, No. 4 (Sep., 1995), pp. 320-328.

Published by: Mathematical Association of America

Stable URL:

Tags: Software for differential equations and dynamical systems

Abstract. This article gives a very grounded case for the continued use of spreadsheets in mathematical learning. Spreadsheets are used primarily in a business setting, but have practical and useful applications for many areas of mathematics. The individual cells connected with formula cells allow structure when dealing with data sets, or many meticulous calculations. A spreadsheet is also equipped with graphical functions that allow line and bar graphs, to display data or solution plots. This open cell approach with modeling gives more clarity to the underlying processes used in probability and statistics, mathematical modeling, numerical systems and many others. With no "black box" processes taking place all steps are transparent and understandable; and all equations are entered manually, giving greater clarity of the results. Due to a spreadsheets simple design and basic features this program remains relatively easy to use, where other more advanced systems may require a steep learning curve. Patrick Slevin, Stephen F. Austin State University, May 3, 2017.

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