Colour by numbers in Excel 2007: Solving algebraic equations without algebra
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This is an update of an earlier paper, and is written for Excel 2007. A series of Excel 2007 models is described. The more advanced versions allow solution of f(x)=0 by examining change of sign of function values. The function is graphed and change of sign easily detected by a change of colour. Relevant features of Excel 2007 used are Names, Scatter Chart and Conditional Formatting. Several sample Excel 2007 models are available for download, and the paper is intended to be used as a lesson plan for students having some familiarity with derivatives. For comparison and reference purposes, the paper also presents a brief outline of several common equation-solving strategies as an Appendix.
This document has been peer reviewed.