# How to do basic mathematical computations (in Excel)

## Task

How do we write the most common mathematical operations in a given piece of software? For example, how do we write multiplication, or exponentiation, or logarithms, in Python vs. R vs. Excel, and so on?

## Solution

Each of the formulas shown on the right of the table below is valid code for use in Excel formulas, in cells in a worksheet.

Mathematical notation | Excel notation | Example |
---|---|---|

$x+y$ | `x+y` |
`=A1+B1` |

$x-y$ | `x-y` |
`=A1-B1` |

$xy$ | `x*y` |
`=A1*B1` |

$\frac xy$ | `x/y` |
`=A1/B1` |

$x^y$ | `x^y` |
`=A1^B1` |

$\vert x\vert$ | `ABS(x)` |
`=ABS(A1)` |

$\ln x$ | `LN(x)` |
`=LN(A1)` |

$\log_a b$ | `LOG(b,a)` |
`=LOG(A1,B1)` |

$e^x$ | `EXP(x)` |
`=EXP(A1)` |

$\pi$ | `PI()` |
`=PI()` |

$\sin x$ | `SIN(x)` |
`=SIN(A1)` |

$\sin^{-1} x$ | `ASIN(x)` |
`=ASIN(A1)` |

$\sqrt x$ | `SQRT(x)` |
`=SQRT(A1)` |

Other trigonometric functions are also available besides just `SIN`

,
including `COS`

, `TAN`

, etc.

Content last modified on 24 July 2023.

See a problem? Tell us or edit the source.

Contributed by Nathan Carter (ncarter@bentley.edu)