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5.0 out of 5 stars Excel for Biomedical Researchers, April 9 2003
This review is from: Excel for Chemists: A Comprehensive Guide (Paperback)
I have bought several books on using Excel for scientists, engineers, etc. However, of the six I have bought, this one by Billo is the most helpful.
If you already know the basics about spreadsheets, then this book is packed with pearls that enhance your productivity and get you powerful results. It will take me years to exhaust the potential.
The CD ROM with the book is very good as well, with examples for the more complex subjects.
I use this reference to evaluate complicated data with multiple interactions on animal and human data in biomedical research. I do research in PET (Positron Emission Tomography) imaging.
While this book is no substitute for a professional biostatistician, the book has helped me to not only follow the progress and interrelationships of the data but also to more clearly communicate my needs to a professional biostatistics firm. This also saves me money since it saves the biostatisticians time. I also think it improves results.
I highly recommend this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for Chemist with Basic Knowledge of Spreadsheets, May 24 2001
This review is from: Excel for Chemists: A Comprehensive Guide (Paperback)
Unlike some books, this book is not just a paraphrase of Excel's help file. The book is written for the professional chemist. It uses examples from chemistry to show how Excel can easily handle many graphing and data analysis problems. The reader should have a basic knowledge of spreadsheets. If you haven't used spreadsheets before, this book will be overwhelming.
The first chapter is an introduction to Excel. Even the experienced user will find something new here. My favorite was learning that a shortcut menu listing all sheets in a workbook is available by right-clicking on any of the sheet tab scroll buttons.
The second chapter (10 pages) explains how to make basic graphs in Excel. Many people have Excel, but are unaware of how easy it is to make graphs with Excel. Chapter 5 shows how to construct advanced charts with, for example, multiple axis, error bars, and smoothed lines.
Chapter 3 starts to get into the power user stuff, such as making formulas more understandable by using named ranges. I had quit using names because they apply to every sheet in a workbook; this chapter shows how to make the name apply to just one sheet. The chapter also does a very good job of showing how to construct huge formulas ("megaformulas").
Chapter 4 explains how to use array formulas. This chapter is valuable because Excel's help file doesn't provide much information on using arrays. Arrays make for much cleaner-looking spreadsheets.
Chapter 6 shows how to use Excel's database features to keep track of, for example, a chemical inventory list. Since I don't use these features very often, it is nice to have them described where I can use them when I need them. The same can be said about appendix E, "Shortcut Keys for the PC and Macintosh".
Chapter 7 describes how to import data into a spreadsheet. If you have more data than you want, this chapter shows how to extract every, say, 10th data point.
Chapter 8 shows how option buttons, check boxes, list boxes, etc. can simplify use of a spreadsheet. For example, I needed to enter a number and convert it to pH, pOH, Ka, or Kb, depending on what was entered. Using the info in this chapter, I now just click on an option button, and the sheet does the appropriate conversions.
Chapters 9-12 are about spreadsheet mathematics. Goal Seek, linear regression and Solver are covered. What really makes this material useful is that it tells how to do a statistical analysis of the results, even for non-linear regression.
Chapters 13-19 illustrate how to use Visual Basic for Application (VBA), the programming language built into Excel. The code examples are clearly the work of an amateur programmer. "Option Explicit" is omitted, only arrays are dimensioned, the standard method of indenting to improve readability is not used, and-horrors-the author uses GoTo statements. Nonetheless, these chapters do show the basics of programming with VBA. The CD includes many code examples, including a neat program for formatting chemical equations. For example, it will subscript the 2 in H2O.
Chapters 20-23 are more applications. I especially liked learning how to deconvolute a spectrum with Excel.
The book isn't perfect-a few typos, organization could be improved, one of the files on the CD wouldn't open-but if you are a chemist and want to become better at using Excel, this is the book you need. I wish my company had given me this book when I started using Excel in industry. It would have saved a lot of time.
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Excel for Chemists: A Comprehensive Guide
Excel for Chemists: A Comprehensive Guide by E. Joseph Billo (Paperback - March 29 2001)
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