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Excel Scientific and Engineering Cookbook [Paperback]

David M Bourg
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Jan. 27 2006 0596008791 978-0596008796 1

Given the improved analytical capabilities of Excel, scientists and engineers everywhere are using it--instead of FORTRAN--to solve problems. And why not? Excel is installed on millions of computers, features a rich set of built-in analyses tools, and includes an integrated Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) programming language. No wonder it's today's computing tool of choice.

Chances are you already use Excel to perform some fairly routine calculations. Now the Excel Scientific and Engineering Cookbook shows you how to leverage Excel to perform more complex calculations, too, calculations that once fell in the domain of specialized tools. It does so by putting a smorgasbord of data analysis techniques right at your fingertips. The book shows how to perform these useful tasks and others:

  • Use Excel and VBA in general
  • Import data from a variety of sources
  • Analyze data
  • Perform calculations
  • Visualize the results for interpretation and presentation
  • Use Excel to solve specific science and engineering problems

Wherever possible, the Excel Scientific and Engineering Cookbook draws on real-world examples from a range of scientific disciplines such as biology, chemistry, and physics. This way, you'll be better prepared to solve the problems you face in your everyday scientific or engineering tasks.

High on practicality and low on theory, this quick, look-up reference provides instant solutions, or "recipes," to problems both basic and advanced. And like other books in O'Reilly's popular Cookbook format, each recipe also includes a discussion on how and why it works. As a result, you can take comfort in knowing that complete, practical answers are a mere page-flip away.


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Book Description

Adding Excel to Your Analysis Arsenal

About the Author

As a naval architect and marine engineer, David M. Bourg performs computer simulations and develops analysis tools that measure such things as hovercraft performance and the effect of waves on the motion of ships and boats. He teaches at the college level in the areas of ship design, construction and analysis. On occasion, David also lectures at high schools on topics such as naval architecture and software development. In addition to David's practical engineering background, he's professionally involved in computer game development and consulting through his company, Crescent Vision Interactive.


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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Excel Scientific and Engineering Cookbook July 12 2006
Format:Paperback
This is a great reference book to people in the scientific and engineering community who have used Excel, but would like to dig a little deeper and be able to better utilize more of Excel's capability. I've used Excel for over a decade, and still found this book to be a good reference. The author covers a wide variety of subjects such as: importing data into Excel, VBA, Statistical Analysis and Curve Fitting/Regression Testing, Solving Differential Equations, etc. The cookbook approach, along with a decent index make it easy to locate a relevant function/recipe that a person is looking for. Excel 2003 is covered (although older versions are also referred to). I recommend the book to anybody using Excel and wanting to further explore its capabilities.
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great showcase of Excel's mathematical capabilities Feb. 6 2006
By calvinnme - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
It is often either inconvenient or financially unfeasible to solve every mathematical problem with a standalone procedural language or an expensive application such as Matlab or Mathematica. Since Excel has such advanced computational capabilities built into it and is ubiquitous in offices and homes, it would make sense to mine this application for numerical problem solving techniques. Bourg does a masterful job of presenting the tools available in Excel and showing the reader how to put them to work to solve real world engineering and mathematical problems. First, he spends a couple of chapters briefly going over Excel and its language VBA (Visual Basic for Applications). Next he goes over some intermediate level tasks such as collecting and cleaning up data, charting including 3D charts, and statistical analysis tasks such as correlating data and generating random numbers. Next Bourg moves into purely mathematical tasks such as working with discrete Fourier transforms, manipulating matrices and vectors, as well as working with basic mathematical functions. Once you have learned to use these mathematical tools in Excel, Bourg uses them to show you how to perform curve fitting and regression, solve equations, perform integration and differentiation, and solve both ordinary and partial differential equations. He even spends time on performing multivariable calculus and the finite element method in Excel. Chapter 13, on optimization, was my favorite chapter. Here, Bourg is actually getting into a little algorithm analysis and design via linear programming and genetic algorithms. This chapter showed me some truly innovative uses of Excel. The final chapter deviates from the scientific flavor of the book and concentrates on more traditional financial applications.
The writing is very accessible, the examples are clear and very creative, and the author does a tremendous job of capturing the range of Excel's mathematical capabilities. Do not expect mathematical theory in this book. Bourg assumes you already know how to set up a mathematical problem and that you just need a computational platform and tools with which to perform your work. It is nice to know I am not necessarily held hostage by Mathworks(maker of Matlab) every time I need to solve a mathematical problem of any level of sophistication. Highly recommended. The table of contents is as follows:
1. Using Excel
2. Getting Acquainted with Visual Basic for Applications
3. Collecting and Cleaning Up Data
4. Charting
5. Statistical Analysis
6. Time Series Analysis
7. Mathematical Functions
8. Curve Fitting and Regression
9. Solving Equations
10. Numerical Integration and Differentiation
11. Solving Ordinary Differential Equations
12. Solving Partial Differential Equations
13. Performing Optimization Analyses in Excel
14. Introduction to Financial Calculations
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Numbers ExpLOsiOn!!! May 9 2006
By Dan McKinnon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Wow what a great Cookbook!!!

No, I mean no sarcasm here at all. With all the books in O'Reilly's "Cookbooks" line, I find that it's really hit or miss. Sometimes the books are good, sometimes great, sometimes it's a big whiff.

Not here folks.

I can say without question that the 'Excel Scientific and Engineering Cookbook' by David Bourg is the BEST line in the Cookbook series I have read thus far. Neatly compact at just over 400 pages and full of actual, useful tips and tricks throughout, this is must read for anyone that uses the mathematical side of Excel and wants to learn how to take their car into the next gear!!

Covering graphs, charts, mathematical calculations, formula creation... you name it, it's here and then some!!

After reading this book you will be amazed at all the things you can do in Excel and I have little doubt that you will learn something new and ENJOY doing it while you take a bite out of this great manual!!

***** HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An engineer excel book dream March 22 2006
By A. Adebamiro - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I am very surprised that there are only 2 reviews here. This is a must have book for all engineering students. The book totally leverage all of excel powers commingled with vba. While other vba books talk about loops and looping, this book did that in just one chapter. The other chapters talk about all what engineering students want: solving and writing codes for non-linear equation (a must for solving for z factor in thermo), numerical differentiation, numerical integration, differential equations, partial differential equations, statistical analysis and valuable things about excel. Combined this book with any standard vba text, and you are set. Kudos to David Bourg.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent all-purpose collection of analytical recipes July 29 2006
By Yannick Pouliot - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Bourg's book is an excellent collection of analytical recipes suitable for undergraduates, graduate and postdocs in all scientific disciplines. Engineers will find good treatment of important topics such as optimization and numerical integration. Statistical analysis is also covered, although no theoretical background is provided, and in this format, none should be expected, as the author indicates. An excellent and useful book.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good examples, excellent source of ideas March 8 2006
By Jack D. Herrington - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is good not just for the examples that are in here, but also for the ideas and techniques it gives you to solve your own unique problems. Each recipe describes the problem, presents a solution in screenshots and code, and then does a good job describing that solution. And through that the book teaches not only a specific solution, but also a generic approach that will help you solve other related problems.

An excellent resource. Highly recommended.
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