Interactive Excel Spreadsheets:
A Visualization Tool for
Mathematics and Science
Scott A. Sinex
Department of Physical Sciences and Engineering
Prince George’s Community College
Presented at MICCA 2006 Conference in Baltimore, MD on 2-4 May
• Ready off-the-shelf software
• Found in the work-place
• Found on home computers too
• Easy to use by students
• Can it be an interactive learning tool?
(no marcos or VBA programming, just computation via formulas)
...as a tool in math and science
• Great for handling, graphing,
and analyzing data calculations
• Easy transforming of data & graphs –
such as taking the log data
• Regression and goodness-of-fit
• So a great tool for mathematical
modeling of data and presenting graphs
Using Excel for... Scientific Data
...so now to Excelets!
• Excelets are interactive
• A “Javaless” applet!
• A simulation of a mathematical model or
an illustration of a simple concept
• A tool for higher-order thinking and
illustrating science process
• and a tool that is easy to construct!!!!!
So let’s take a tour of
features available in
Start tour !
Click on links at the bottom of the next three slides to
get the interactive spreadsheets
Find it in
Now let’s construct
a simple Excelet!
So let’s go into Excel
As a learning tool...
• Active engagement of students
• Numerical experimentation
• Derive the ideal mathematical model
• “What if” scenarios
• Science processes science
– predictions Model Simulation
– graphical interpretation
– random and systematic error (ideal to
real) See Investigating Types of Errors
The “How to” resources...
Developer's Guide to Excelets:
Dynamic and Interactive Visualization
with "Javaless" Applets or Interactive
Tutorial, instructions, and a variety of
interactive Excel spreadsheet examples
Resource list for mathematics and science
• Scott Sinex – email@example.com
• See course webpages and publications
• Webpages embedded in PowerPoint –
...and THANKS for coming today!!!