Excel Calculus Functions

Microsoft’s Excel is program that have many math functions but there is no calculus in the standard version. If you need this, you have to install math software that have calculus function such as derivatives and integrals.

Polynomial Derivative

Derivative function in calculus shows us the rate of change for a point on a continuous line graph. For instance, if you have graph of y=1 that is horizontal line, the slope of line is zero and its derivative is zero. If you have y = x^2. graph is curve and the rate of change is different for all points on the curve. Now we have first derivative of x^2 is 2x. and the rate of change is 8 when x is 4.

In Excel, you need to set up one column which contain the degree of the polynomial terms such as a0 and a1. Second column should contain coefficients of the corresponding polynomial terms. In separate cell you enter the value of independent variable such as x. Excel library function evaluates these terms and displays us the result of derivatives.

General Derivatives

You can find the derivatives of non-polynomial equations using other Excel library functions which will evaluate the equation symbolically. You should type the equation into one Excel cell and value for other independent variable in a second cell. In the third cell goes  library function. The function will evaluate the equation and determine if a derivative exists.


Integrals are mathematical inverse if derivatives. If you have the integral of an equation, you must take derivative of the integral, and you will end up with the original equation. In the graph, integral can be found in area between X axis and the graph’s curve. An integrating  function is about analyzing the two columns and determining the total area under the graph, and it will solve the integral for data.


Gradients are similar to a derivative in calculus. Gradient is vector that have direction and magnitude, and length. To find gradient in Excel, you should type the equation in one cell and values for the equation’s variable in other cells. You should specify the locations of these cells in the gradient function, and this function will compute the gradient values for the location that was specified by the values of variable.

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