Wednesday, March 01, 2006

2 + 2 = (answer below)

Microsoft Excel is the greatest arithmetic thingie since sliced bread. It does all the hard stuff, like adding 2 + 2, so we don’t have to.

Excel’s standard toolbar contains numerous buttons that allow you to enter formulae, change fonts, create borders, and a whole lot more. I like the buttons that let you change the number of decimal places displayed. This button removes one decimal place and rounds the remaining digits:

For instance, you could enter pi as 3.14159. If you click the button once, 3.14159 would become 3.1416. We lost the 9; and the 5 was rounded up to 6.

This can be fun, as in the chart below showing simple addition problems.

Section A shows three original addition problems as typed in. (You can probably do the math in your head to verify the answers.)

Section B shows the same problems after a click of the button has removed one of the decimal places from all the numbers. (It still adds up.)

Section C shows the same numbers after one more click. (Whaaah!)

(Answer: C. 3 or 4 or 5.)

No comments: