This chapter is a departure from all the material presented earlier in this book. While this book does focus on scientific and engineering types of calculations, I felt it would be appropriate to at least introduce you to what Excel has to offer in the way of financial calculations . After all, even as scientists and engineers, we do have to worry about money, whether we're preparing bids and proposals, justifying the purchase of new laboratory equipment, or figuring out our retirement benefits.
In practice, you can devise all sorts of financial or economic models in Excel for a huge variety of problems. The large number of financial model templates available over the Internet attests to this fact. To make some common calculations easier, Excel offers several dozen built-in financial formulas . These built-in formulas handle calculations ranging from amortization to depreciation to treasury bill yield calculations, and many others in between. You can find a list of all these functions in Excel's help documents. Look for the help topic "Financial Functions" (from the help Table of Contents, look for the topic "Working with Data" Function Reference images/U2192.jpg border=0> Financial Functions images/U2192.jpg border=0> Financial Functions). There youll find a list of all built-in financial functions with short descriptions and links to more detailed information for each one.
There's little doubt that Excel is used more for these sorts of calculations than for pure scientific and engineering calculations. Further, there are plenty of good books that show you in excruciating detail how to leverage Excel for business and financial calculations. My aim in this chapter is not to try to compete with those sources, but to introduce you, by way of a few examples, to how you can leverage Excel for financial calculations.
Getting Acquainted with Visual Basic for Applications
Collecting and Cleaning Up Data
Time Series Analysis
Curve Fitting and Regression
Numerical Integration and Differentiation
Solving Ordinary Differential Equations
Solving Partial Differential Equations
Performing Optimization Analyses in Excel
Introduction to Financial Calculations