3D Reconstruction / Palaeobotany / Research / Teaching

Excel and Statistics Workshop 2020

This course was designed to cover basis and advanced uses of Microsoft Excel (the most commonly available spreadsheet software package) and look at how we can use Excel to perform various useful statistical operations with geo-science in mind. The course is aimed at 1st Year undergraduate students and is based on the material delivered for the summer 2020 term.

Why was this course created?

In previous years I taught an assessed Computing for Geoscientist module in the summer term for 1st year student at Imperial College London. The aim of which was to refresh everyone with basic statistics, introduce some less well known (but important) statistical methods, and to improve confidence in using real world data. Over the years, and due to feedback back from previous students, the course has changed to exploring these topics through Microsoft Excel (rather than Python).

Many of you will be familiar with Excel, which is great, however I hope that this will act as a refresher and teach you some of the more powerful and hidden features of Excel.

How is this being taught?

The course, in ‘normal times’ (I’m writing this during the 2020 COVID pandemic) would consist of a mixture of live in-class demonstrations covering techniques. These are then reinforced with practical tasks undertaken by the students to help the learning of these new skills. There is very little traditional lecturing within this course.

In order to allow this course to be remotely delivered all demonstrations have now been recorded so students can view and digest them at their place of study. I feel obliged to point out that this is the first attempt at fully recording all demonstration, and as such they may appear a bit ‘rough around the edges’; however I hope that even in their current state they are of benefit.

In addition there is a 80+ page fully illustrated PDF that covers all demonstrated skills and includes the piratical tasks.

Why are they posted here?

Simply put: “Why not

Having spent the time creating these videos I thought they may be of benefit to other student in other institutions, or more widely to the public at large. Additionally, this acts as secondary means for my students to access the material.

Course material

Course Booklet: TBA

Demonstration 1:

This demonstration covers the basic introduction to Excel.

Demonstration 2:

This demonstration covers more basic Excel functions. Including entering formula, implementing equations, basic cell formatting, etc…

Demonstration 3:

This demonstration covers how to implements more complex equations within Excel.

Demonstration 4:

This demonstration covers the built-in Excel functions and how to best access and use them.

Demonstration 5:

This demonstration covers conditional statements and functions, as well as lookup functions, and conditional cell formatting.

Demonstration 6:

This demonstration covers text and date processing within Excel.

Demonstration 7:

This demonstration covers how to create basic charts/graphs within Excel.

Demonstration 8:

This demonstration covers more chart/graph creation within Excel.

Demonstration 9:

This video covers ‘What is Statistics?’ and the background information need to understand populations, distributions, samples, biases, different branches of statistics, averages (again), spread, percentiles, variance and standard deviation, ending by looking at correlation between datasets.

Demonstration 10:


Demonstration 11: