Table Spreadsheet

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Spreadsheets and "Paradigm"

Spreadsheet software - many options: Google docs has a free spreadsheet in the browser, and now Microsoft has a free browser one too with skydive (yay competition!). There's also the free open source Libre Office application. And the famous Microsoft Excel spreadsheet products which work great and are kind of expensive. Any of these will work for all our examples and homeworks.

Aside: How to Invent The Future

Monster Example

Monster example spreadsheet in google docs. Below we'll use this as a running first example. (consider: control-click .. open in new tab)

To edit above (or any of our spreadsheets): either (a) In google docs: File > Make Copy to edit. or (b) File > Download As > .xlsx file, and then edit using any program.

For references here is the monster spreadsheet in completed form

1. Spreadsheet Cells and Naming

Experiment: click on a cell, note its "address" B1 or whatever, type in a word or number

2. Columns of Numbers

3. Add Computation: sum()

Spreadsheet Editing Tricks

From the headlines: Reinhart and Rogoff had a popular economics paper supporting austerity, but it had a significant spreadsheet bug. Essentially they wrote something like sum(a1:a8) when they intended (a1:a11), so they left out some numbers. This bug was significant in the paper's results. The subsequent history of the great recession has shown austerity to be a bad idea. Note when you double-click a cell, it shows you what it depends on to help avoid this sort of bug. It's amusing that such high level research can have ordinary bugs just like the rest of us, although of course this should be no surprise. Bugs are a common part of software.

4. Add Computation: + - * /

5. Magic: Fill Right

6. Chart Magic

Here's a picture of it in done form:
finished monster spreadsheet

Compute average with average(a1:a10)

2. Cell Phone Example - You Try It