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The vast majority of engineering computations require a complex set of mathematical operations such as logarithms and trigonometric functions. Functions are predefined formulas that simplify manual entry and allows us to carry out calculations that would otherwise be impossible. Excel and other mainstream spreadsheet apps have an extensive library of built-in functions. For example, we can use the SUM function to total all the values in a column or use the MAX function to find the biggest number in a range of cells. However, functions can do a lot more than just math. They can look up data in another location, calculate cells only if they meet a specific criteria and combine the contents of two or more cells.
A function can consist of five elements:
The AVERAGE function returns the average of all the values in that array. The syntax is as follows:
=AVERAGE(A1:B5)
The MIN function returns the smallest number in a set of values. The syntax is as follows:
=MIN(A1:B5)
The MAX function returns the largest value in a set of values. The syntax is as follows:
=MAX(A1:B5)
The SUM function adds all the numbers specified in a range. The syntax is as follows:
=SUM([number1],[number2],...])
The CONVERT function converts a number from one measurement system to another. The syntax for the CONVERT function is:
=CONVERT(number,from_unit,to_unit)
The CONVERT function’s arguments are as follows:
Temperature | From_unit or to_unit |
---|---|
Degree Celsius | "C" (or "cel") |
Degree Fahrenheit | "F" (or "fah") |
Kelvin | "K" (or "kel") |
Power | From_unit or to_unit |
---|---|
Horsepower | "HP" (or "h") |
Watt | "W" (or "w") |
Force | From_unit or to_unit |
---|---|
Newton | "N" |
Pound force | "lbf" |
To convert kilometers to miles:
=CONVERT(A2,"km","mi")
To convert Celsius to Fahrenheit:
=CONVERT(A6,"C","F")
To convert milligrams to kilograms:
=CONVERT(A10,"mg","kg")
To convert days to seconds:
=CONVERT(A14,"day","sec")
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