Illustrating Mathematical Fundamentals with Microsoft Excel

S.J. Sugden (Australia)


Educational software, mathematics teaching, spreadsheet, Excel.


For students whose primary orientation is not to mathematics, but to other disciplines such as IT and business studies, it is important to for the teacher to relate fundamental mathematical principles to practical computing, scientific or business realities. At Bond University, the vast bulk of mathematics teaching is to IT and business students. For much of this work, Microsoft Excel is the primary practical vehicle used to illustrate mathematical fundamentals. Topics such as induction, binary forms, truth tables, sets, functions, relations, differentiation and integration, recurrences, automata etc. pose a considerable challenge to many students. We have found that there are many ways in which a spreadsheet such as Microsoft Excel can assist with the learning process. This paper considers some examples.

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