Chapter 2 – Mathematical Computations

Perhaps the most valuable feature of Excel is its ability to produce mathematical outputs using the data in a workbook. This chapter reviews several mathematical outputs that you can produce in Excel through the construction of formulas and functions. The chapter begins with the construction of formulas for basic and complex mathematical computations. The second section reviews statistical functions, such as SUM, AVERAGE, MIN, and MAX, which can be applied to a range of cells. The last section of the chapter addresses functions used to calculate mortgage and lease payments as well as the valuation of investments. This chapter also shows how you can use data from multiple worksheets to construct formulas and functions. These skills will be demonstrated in the context of a personal cash budget, which is a vital tool for managing your money for long-term financial security. The personal budget objective will also provide you with several opportunities to demonstrate Excel’s what-if scenario capabilities, which highlight how formulas and functions automatically produce new outputs when one or more inputs are changed.


Adapted by Mary Schatz from How to Use Microsoft Excel: The Careers in Practice Series, adapted by The Saylor Foundation without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee, and licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0.


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Beginning Excel Copyright © by Noreen Brown; Barbara Lave; Julie Romey; Mary Schatz; and Diane Shingledecker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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