set] MATH DEPT Computer News, Volume 16

How to use gnumeric on a MATH SUN

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  A B C D E F
1 Cantor, Georg 95 90 49 48  
2 Dedekind, Richard 98 80 40 45  
3 Gauss, Karl F. 100 100 0 0  
4 Kronecker, Sid 55 40 49 49  
5 Riemann, Bernard 85 70 25 20  
6 Weierstrass, Karl 45 40 19 18  

I explain here how to use the spreadsheet program gnumeric on a MATH SUN. It is very much like excel. In fact, it is so compatible with excel that it can read and alter files created by excel (with a .xls file extension).

First, logon to a MATH SUN, start X, and then type

xon peano

in an xterm. An xterm running on the Solaris machine peano will pop up. (The gnumeric program is only available on Solaris machines. You can put the name of any Solaris machine in place of peano.)

Next, type

gnumeric &

in the peano xterm window. A spreadsheet window should appear in a few seconds.

I will now give a step by step description of how I set up a grade sheet for my MATH 262 class. First, I entered the names of my 32 students in Column A by clicking on cell A1 and then typing a name and then pushing RETURN to automatically enter the name and move down to the next cell, all the way down to A32. Don't worry about squeezing the names into the cells because after all the names are entered, you can click on a box in the column of names and then click on the FORMAT menu and choose COLUMNS and then WIDTH and type in a bigger number to increase the column width (or easier yet, select AUTO FIT SELECTION).

Next, I entered the scores into the proper cells exactly as I did the names above.

Next, I wanted the sum of the numbers in Columns B and C plus the number in Column D divided by 50 plus the number in Column E divided by 50 to go into Column F (rounded to an integer). I left mouse clicked in cell F1 and then typed


and pushed RETURN. The number I wanted, rounded to the nearest integer appeared in cell F1. To make similar numbers appear in all the rest of the cells in Column F, I simply clicked in cell F1 and selected COPY from the EDIT menu. The I left mouse clicked in cell F2 and dragged all the way down to the bottom row of Column F to highlight the empty cells below F1 (i.e., F2-F32). Then I selected PASTE from the EDIT menu and voila! the numbers I wanted appeared.

This might be a good moment to PRINT your worksheet. In the future, you might just select PRINT from the FILE menu and then click on the PRINTER check box. However, at the moment, printing is not set up properly. To get a hard copy of your grades, you can select SAVE AS from the FILE menu and then select SIMPLE TEXT from the File Format menu and type in a file name and then click on OK. Then you can print the text file via the lpr command.)

To sort the rows in the sheet into the order determined by the grand total in Column F, first left mouse click in cell A1 and drag down to the lower right corner of the area where you have entered scores to highlight your entire work area. For me, that is cell F32. Next, select SORT from the TOOLS menu and enter F in the first Sort by COLUMN box. The order of the whole rows in the highlighted area will get changed with respect to the numbers in Column F. Next, click on the DESCENDING radio button in the dialogue box so that the sort will be done so that the highest score moves to row one and scores go down from there. Finally, click on OK at the bottom of the dialogue box. You should get a sorted list based on the numbers in Column F and it should be easy to set cut offs for grades. (To put the rows back in alphabetical order, just drag from A1 to the lower right corner F32 to highlight the whole sheet and select SORT from the TOOLS menu and change Column F to Column A and then check the ASCENDING radio button and select OK.)

I also like to put the average scores at the bottom of each column. To do this, I type AVERAGES in the last cell in Column A (that's A33 for me) and then I click on the cell in Column B to the right of it (B33) and type something like

=int(.5 + sum(B1:B32)/32 )

When I push RETURN, I get the average score for my 32 students in Column B in cell B33. To make similar numbers appear in the bottom row for all the columns, I can mouse click on cell B33 and select COPY from the edit menu and then mouse click and drag over all the cells in row 33 from Column C to Column F to highlight them and select PASTE from the EDIT. The averages should appear in row 33.

To save your spreadsheet for future use, select SAVE AS from the FILE menu and type a file name like math262.xml in the dialogue box. (Be sure that the File Format is Old Gnumeric XML and not something else, like Simple Text.) Next time you fire up gnumeric, select OPEN from the file menu and double click on the file math262.xml to continue working on your 262 grades. (Or you can type

gnumeric math262.xml &

at a prompt in an xterm running on a Solaris machine).

It is also rather easy to IMPORT grades from a simple text file to a gnumeric spreatsheet. Check out the IMPORT command from the FILE menu.

It is smart practice to SAVE and PRINT your gradesheet every time you enter new scores.

NOTE: Dropping the lowest score is rather easy; just use a formula like

=sum(B1:J1) - min(B1:J1)

in the input box for cell K1 to compute the total score in cells B1 to J1 minus the lowest score. To drop the TWO lowest scores in a row before computing a total, use

=sum(B1:J1) - small(B1:J1,1) - small(B1:J1,2)

(The function small(B1:J1,5) returns the fifth smallest number in the cells from B1 to J1.)

Other spreadsheets you can use:

How to use xess on omni.cc.

How to use excel on a PUCC PC.

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