Course Code:                           MATH 1192

Course Title:                             Introduction to Mathematical Software I - A Primer on Excel

Level:                                       1

Semester:                                 1, II         

No. of Credits:                           1

Pre-requisite(s):                        Units 1 and 2 of CAPE Pure Mathematics or Math 1125                                                      (Maths for General Sciences II) or equivalent.

 

Course Rationale

 Mathematics is a powerful tool used for solving practical problems and is a highly creative field of study, combining logic and precision with intuition and imagination.  The ability to employ mathematical reasoning is a fundamental skill for any well-educated individual in the pure and applied sciences. 

Recent improvements in computing technology and mathematical software have inevitably led to a marriage of mathematics and computers.  Specialized software can be used to solve problems in differential equations, numerical analysis, calculus, mathematical modelling, and so forth.  As such, knowledge of mathematical software is not only an asset but a necessity for contemporary mathematicians. 

This introductory level course is designed to introduce two pieces of software: Microsoft Excel which can be used as a statistical tool, and Maple which is used for a wider range of mathematical applications.

 

Course Description

 This course will enhance the student’s knowledge of Microsoft Excel, which will be used to solve frequently encountered mathematics and statistics problems. 

Microsoft Excel will be introduced as data management software, and popular features of Excel such as formatting, editing, chart types and ‘autofill’ will be covered at the beginning of the course.  The student will later be introduced to statistical tools in Excel which assist in solving problems in inferential statistics.  An introduction to the Visual Basic Editor and programming in Visual Basic is then offered to the student. 

Teaching will take place entirely in weekly interactive lab sessions where the emphasis will be on active learning. Assessment will be based on coursework examinations and several lab assignments.

 

Learning Outcomes

 Upon successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • Create a professional looking spreadsheet using Microsoft Excel.
  • Understand the critical importance of specifying formulae rather than manually computing cell contents.
  • Create and customize charts.
  • Sort and filter data, and utilize pivot tables.
  • Utilize ‘Toolpaks’ in Excel, specifically as they relate to statistical analysis.
  • Utilize the Visual Basic Editor, program macros in Visual Basic and utilize these macros in spreadsheets.

Course Content

 Microsoft Excel

  • The Excel interface and its components.
  • Entering of data, symbols, and special characters into a worksheet.
  • Creation and saving of workbooks in current and previous versions of Excel.
  • Manipulation of cells, rows and columns in a worksheet.
  • Use of the AutoFill feature to copy, fill data or set up a series of data.
  • Creation and editing of simple formulas using math operators and cell references.
  • Use of commonly-used functions and conditional functions.
  • Formatting of numbers.
  • Enhancement of aesthetics of worksheet using fonts, alignment, lines, borders, colors or patterns.
  • Print and preview of worksheets.
  • Augmentation of margins, orientation, or layout for printing a worksheet.
  • Headers and footers.
  • Creation of charts of different types, moving and resizing charts, chart layouts and printing charts.  Customization of chart elements.
  • Creation and customization of trend line charts.
  • Drawing, moving, resizing and formatting different types of shapes.
  • Sorting and filtering of data.
  • Construction and interpretation of Pivot Tables.
  • Statistics
  • Bar Charts, Pie Charts and other statistical diagrams.
  • Excel’s Analysis Toolpak.
  • Use of Data Analysis Tools such as ‘Descriptive Statistics’ and ‘Regression’.
  • Computation of probabilities for discrete distributions such as the Binomial    distribution.
  • Visual Basic
  • The Visual Basic Editor.
  • An introduction to Programming in Visual Basic.
  • Difference between .xlsx and .xlsm file extensions.
  • Creation of macros to be used as functions in live spreadsheets.

Teaching Methodology

 Labs: One (1) computer lab session each week (2 hours).  These sessions will serve as an avenue for introducing various pieces of Mathematical software.

Time : Saturday 10 – 12 CSL2

 

Assessment

 Coursework – 100%

  • Two equally weighted 2-hour coursework examinations  –  60%
  • Six equally weighted  lab assignments – 40%

Students will be tested on principles learnt each week as delineated in the course calendar. 

 

Course Calendar

Week

Lecture subjects

Assignments/Exams

 

1

Course Overview?introduction

Introduction to the Excel Interface:  The Excel environment:  Identify the basic components of Excel.  Enter data, symbols, and special characters into a worksheet.  Navigating through a workbook. 

None

2

Excel - Functions and formatting:    Manipulation of cells, rows and columns in a worksheet.  Use of the AutoFill feature to copy, fill data or set up a series of data.  Creation and editing of simple formulas using math operators and cell references. 

Assignment 1 given.

3

Excel - Functions and formatting:    Use of commonly-used functions and conditional functions.  Use of VLookup to recode numeric information.

Assignment 1 due.

4

Excel – Charts:  Creation of charts of different types, moving and resizing charts, chart layouts and printing charts.  Customization of chart elements.  Creation and customization of trend line charts.  Drawing, moving, resizing and formatting different types of shapes. 

Assignment 2 given.

 

5

Excel – Pivot tables and filtering:  Construction and interpretation of Pivot Tables.  Sorting and filtering of data. 

Assignment 3 given.

Assignment 2 due.

6

First Coursework Examination.

 

7

Excel - Polynomial equations and matrices:  Use of Goal Seek and Solver to find roots of equations.  Computations involving matrices. 

Assignment 4 given.

Assignment 3 due.

 

8

Excel - Excel’s Analysis Toolpak:  Use of Data Analysis Tools such as ‘Descriptive Statistics’ and ‘Regression’.   

 

9

Excel- Introduction to Visual Basic:  The Visual Basic Editor.  Data types and rules for naming variables.  Definition and construction of simple functions using Visual Basic.  Built-in functions in Visual Basic.  

Assignment 5 given.

 

10

Excel –Visual Basic:  Branches and Control Flow.  The IF statement.  The SELECT structure.

Assignment 5 due.

11

Excel –Visual Basic:  Branches and Control Flow.  Use of the FOR…NEXT looping structure.  Applications include the approximations of functions using their respective Maclaurin Series expansions to a specified number of terms. 

Assignment 6 given.

 

12

Excel –Visual Basic:  Branches and Control Flow.  Use of the WHILE structure.  Applications include the approximations of functions using their Maclaurin Series expansions to a specified tolerance level. 

Assignment 6 due.

 

13

Second Coursework Examination.

 

 

Required Reading

Essential Text

  • B. Dretzke, Statistics with Microsoft Excel, Pearson; 4th or 5th edition