Author: Ryan McQuade

Science of Patterns

“The rapid growth of computing and applications has helped cross-fertilize the mathematical sciences, yielding an unprecedented abundance of new methods, theories, and models. Examples from statistical science, core mathematics, and applied mathematics illustrate these changes, which have both broadened and enriched the relation between mathematics and science. No longer just the study of number and space, mathematical science has become the science of patterns, with theory built on relations among patterns and on applications derived from the fit between pattern and observation.”

Lynn Steen, Science 1988

Why Spreadsheets?

9 reasons spreadsheets should be the mathematics engine of choice in schools.

  1. Spreadsheets are equity platforms available to all students at no cost. They can give every student a fresh start in math.
  2. Spreadsheets from Microsoft, Google, and Apple are ubiquitous, easy to use, powerful, and part of a suite with common, familiar, supported interfaces.
  3. Spreadsheets are the tools students will use in their workplace as well as school for relevant real learning.
  4. Spreadsheets are not just computational tools, they are visualization, interactive, and data science tools.
  5. Spreadsheets are function machines using functions and functional thinking to build and work with models essential to all STEM projects.
  6. Spreadsheets are the financial and business communities goto program, central to modern financial literacy.
  7. Spreadsheets are coding platforms easy to use for computer science beginners and powerful enough for serious programming.
  8. Spreadsheets are sharing applications enabling and encouraging students to work together online for group problem solving.
  9. Spreadsheets have a huge support network of videos, templates, and help available on the Web.

The Tour

Take this tour of functional thinking applied to the key concepts of mathematics. Visualize and experience the power of the spreadsheet to unify and simplify math. Start with a parameter table, use rules to build function tables and models, then graph, analyze, and iterate the models to ask What if…

The Tour is an interactive spreadsheet. Download it and experience and experimental science.