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|I Already Know Quite a Bit About Excel. Should I Take TO 512?|
Section 004/451: 6:30-9:30 Mondays, in E1540 (Section 452 is the number for Evening MBA Program students; Section 004 is for all others)
Section 001: 12:40-2:10 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, in R1210
Section 002: 2:10-3:40 Tuesdays and Thursdays, in R1210
Section 003/451: 6:30-9:30 p.m. Tuesdays, in R0210 (Section 451 is the number for Evening MBA Program students; Section 003 is for all others)
Section 001: 12:40-2:10 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays
Section 002/451: 7:00-10:00 p.m. Tuesdays (Section 451 is the number for Evening MBA Program students; Section 002 is for all others)
Section 001: 12:40-2:10 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays
Section 002/451: 6:30-9:30 p.m. Tuesdays (Section 451 is the number for Evening MBA Program students; Section 002 is for all others)
Section 001/451: 6:30-9:30 p.m. Tuesdays (Section 451 is the number for Evening MBA Program students; Section 001 is for all others)
The Parsons et al. textbook takes a tutorial-based, case-study approach. Each tutorial chapter concludes with exercises based on business cases. The book contains twelve Excel 2010 tutorial chapters (all covered in class, except for the first three chapters as noted above), dealing with such topics as charts and graphing, functions (including financial and time-and-date functions) and formulas; managing records within Excel; Pivot Tables; working with multiple worksheets and workbooks; use of Auditing Tools to troubleshoot spreadsheets and to come to a better understanding of applications built by others; use of Microsoft Query to extract data from Access databases; structured what-iffing and sensitivity analysis with Data Tables, Scenarios, and the Scenario Manager; Goal Seeking; an introduction to linear and nonlinear optimization; the recording of Macros; and the light editing of Macros.
If you judge that you're overqualified for TO 512, give serious consideration to taking TO 513. ( TO 512 or equivalent know-how in Excel is a TO 513 pre-requisite.) A suggestion for self-checking your readiness for TO 513 (without having taken TO 512) is given in the second paragraph in the next topic.
If you haven't taken TO 512, a good way to check out your "Excel readiness" for TO 513 is to work with Chapter 2 in the TO 513 textbook (described elsewhere at this site). This chapter provides a review of Excel. (We don't cover Chapter 2 in TO 513, but start beyond that point in the book.) If you are comfortable with the Excel tools applied in the examples worked out in Chapter 2 ("Breakeven Analysis at Great Threads"; "Estimating Sensitivity of Demand to Price at Links"; "Ordering with Quantity Discounts at Sam's Bookstores"; "Calculating NPV at Acron"), then you are qualified to take TO 513 without having formally taken TO 512.
Application areas for the methodologies studied in TO 513 include Finance, Marketing, Human Resources, and Operations Management. The textbook contains literally dozens of worked-out examples (models) for such applications, and hundreds of exercises for practice. Typical of the worked-out examples in the book are "Estimating a sales response function," "Determining optimal pricing," "Determining an advertising schedule," "Capital budgeting," "Bidding for a government contract," "Scheduling workers," "Production scheduling," and "Telephone call processing."
More details are provided at the UM Computer Showcase website. Google for Computer Showcase umich.edu, or go here:
Excel 2010 is available for local use in the Ross Computing Network at first-come, first-served walk-up computers in the Ross Kresge Library, and for remote use over the internet using Ross "virtual lab" software. For information about the virtual lab software, go to http://www.bus.umich.edu and search on virtual lab, or try browsing to:
If there are questions or problems, call Ross Computing Services, 734-615-3000, Option 3.
If your Mac is Windows-enabled and has Office 2010 installed, you can use a Mac in TO 512 and TO 513. (Note that you can't use the version of Excel written for the Mac, because Mac Excel differs from the PC Excel 2010 on which TO 512 and 513 are based. For more details, read the rest of this section.)
There are two approaches for working with a Mac in
TO 512 and TO 513.
1. Get the VMWare Fusion PC emulator (from the UM Computer Showcase) for the Mac. (You can run the Mac operating system and Windows in parallel with VMWare Fusion, which is considered to be much better than using Boot Camp. (With Boot Camp you can run Windows and the Mac operating system too, but not in parallel. There is also PC emulation software named Parallels, which is like Fusion but costs about twice as much. Between the two, Apple recommends Fusion.) Also get Windows and Microsoft Office 2010 at the Computer Showcase. Install these three pieces of software on the Mac and you're good to go.
2. Use the Mac and the downloadable "virtual lab" software provided by Ross to support remote use of software in the Ross computing network via the Internet. (A high speed Internet connection is recommended.) But you have to proceed carefully. Here's a lightly-edited statement from Ross Computing Services providing further details:
"The virtual lab software does not directly support Macs. The client as posted on iMpact is Windows only. If somebody is running Windows on their Mac via Boot Camp, Parallels, or Fusion, then the client can be downloaded and installed and run under the Windows side of the house."
For information about the virtual lab software, see the preceding topic here. If there are questions or problems, call Ross Computing Services, 734-615-3000, Option 3.
OK, here are some insights into the extent to which TO 512 is Windows Excel 2010-centric:
Students in TO 512 are welcome to work with alternative versions of Excel to the extent possible, subject to the above conditions, but the smoothest way to proceed is to use Excel 2010 from the get-go.
What about using a Mac in TO 513? If your Mac is Windows-enabled and you have Excel 2010, or if you are game to use the virtual lab software on your Windows-enabled Mac, no problem. Otherwise, no deal. Palisade Corporation, the vendor of the commercial Excel 2010 @Risk Excel and PrecisionTree add-ins that we use in the TO 513, does not make versions of those add-ins that run with Mac Excel. (The Mac market evidently isn't big enough to justify that. Note that, broadly speaking, "business" uses Windows-based software, and so you are probably better served in the long run by learning Windows Excel 2010 in TO 512/513 than by learning variants of it.)
The TO 512 textbook is Excel 2010 New Perspectives Comprehensive, by Parsons, Oja, Ageloff, and Carey, ISBN-13: 978-0-538-74291-7. (The authors have written more than one Excel book, so be careful to buy the right book. Let the ISBN number be your guide.) The book can be inspected in the Ross Kresge or Ross Southfield library, where it is on two-hour reserve.
The textbook and "Printed Access Card" are most economically bought in a bundle that lists for about ??? and has the bundle ISBN number: ISBN-13: 978-1-133-16365-7. The bundle is available for TO 512 in Ann Arbor textbook stores (Barnes and Noble in the basement of the Michigan Union; and Ulrich's, just north of the point where East University dead-ends into South University). If buying locally, phone ahead to be certain the store of choice has the bundle in stock.
The publisher also sells the bundle online for $122. Those interested should browse to: http://www.cengagebrain.com/isbn/9781133163657
TO 512 textbook and software
particulars are provided on page 3 in the TO 512 syllabus,
which is in Resource 01 at the TO 512 CTools website. (See the next FAQ topic.)
The TO 513 textbook is Practical Management Science, 4th Edition, by Winston and Albright, copyrighted 2012, ISBN-13: 978-1-111-53131-7. All of TO 513 is based on the book. The 4th edition addresses the Excel 2010 versions of @Risk (risk analysis) and PrecisionTree (decision analysis), which are commercial Excel add-ins, and on Excel 2010’s Solver (optimization). Attempts to make do with earlier editions of PMS should be avoided for your own sanity. There are five options (below) for having access to the book. Base any online searches on the book’s ISBN number.
Buy a new print copy of the
book. The suggested list price of a new print copy in Ann Arbor textbook
stores is circa $255. It can be
purchased at cengagebrain.com for circa $228 (with free shipping), and you can then sell it back to Ann Arbor textbook stores at the end of the course
for an estimated $125. (The book will be used again in TO 513 Winter B 2013.)
(2) Buy a used copy of the book at an Ann Arbor textbook store (or possibly at amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com or ???).
(3) Buy 6-month use of the eBook at cengagebrain.com for circa $140.
(4) Buy 6-month use of five eChapters (chapters 3, 4, 6, 9, and 10 at $16.49 per chapter from cengagebrain.com for circa $83.
Rely exclusively on a reserve
copy of the book. This is to be discouraged.
Taking the time to get to the Kresge or Southfield library and then possibly
having to wait to use the book would be quite an inefficient use of your time.
TO 513 Textbook and software particulars are provided
on page 4 in the TO 513 syllabus,
which is in Resource 01 at the TO 513 CTools website. (See the next FAQ topic.)
In general, students can go to the CTools gateway portal:
and from there can navigate to the published CTools website for each course for which they are registered.
No; there is no coursepack to buy in either TO 512 or TO 513. The objective in each course is that "nothing touches paper" Except for lectures and office hours, all communication from instructor to students, and from students to instructor, is electronic. (There is one exception to "nothing touches paper": a print copy of the syllabus is given out at the first class meeting in each course, as a matter of convenience for the students. The syllabus is also available at the corresponding course website.)
Class meetings are designed to provide an effective learning experience in each of three dimensions: visual (thanks to computer-screen projections of live-in-the-application Excel worksheets); audio (thanks to discussion of the projected material); and tactile (thanks to students optionally "following along" on their laptop as the instructor manipulates the projected starting-point worksheets to further develop them). Consistent class attendance saves time in the long run and, when reinforced by completing assigned exercises, pays dividends in the form of an in-depth conceptual and operational takeaway from the course(s).
Students also sometimes use email to ask for help outside of class. For example, if a student is having difficulty completing an assigned exercise, the student has the option of sending the work-in-progress file to email@example.com as an email attachment, describing in the body of the email the difficulty being experienced and requesting that the work in progress be reviewed and suggestions be given for resolving the difficulty.
There is no formal groupwork in TO 512 or TO 513. Each student is expected to take full responsibility for his/her own work and submit the result of that work under his/her own name to the website (the SAM site in some cases, and the CTools site in other cases. ). However, it is OK for a student to get help from other students and/or the instructor when working his/her way through an exercise. For example, suppose a student reaches a point in a case in which it isn't clear to the student what the next step is to be, and/or how to go about accomplishing that next step. Then it's perfectly fine for the student to consult with one or more other students in that regard in an attempt to overcome the obstacle, and/or to ask the instructor about the problem, whichever is more convenient. (The most time-efficient way to ask questions of the instructor is usually by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org, describing the situation and attaching the work-in-progress workbook to the email.)
For the sake of camaraderie and efficiency, some students might also occasionally get together while each works his/her way through a case, talking about various aspects of the case as they proceed. That's fine, and can enhance the learning experience, but each student must still take full responsibility for his/her own work and individually submit the result of that work under his/her own name to the relevant website.
The exams are optional for those who have done the assigned homework in substantially correct fashion (as described quantitatively in the syllabus) and are satisfied to take a course grade of "Pass." (This option is referred to in the syllabus as the "AutoPass.") Those trying for an "Excellent" (up to the top 35% of the class) or "Good" (up to the next circa 40% of the class) must write the concluding exam.
Ample resources are provided in TO 512 and TO 513 for students to make up for a missed class through their own independent efforts. Such students can take advantage of (1) the course textbook, (2) the detailed game plan spelled out in the course syllabus, (3) the availability of electronic materials at the CTools websites, (4) the fact that all assignments are submitted to relevant websites, (5) the online starting-point lecture workbooks, and (6) the video-recorded Lecture/Demonstrations (for which links are posted at the CTools website).
It is estimated that about 65-70% of the students in the MBA program have taken TO 512 by the time they graduate, and that about 40-45% have taken TO 513 by that time. MBA II's taking TO 512 have said, "If only I had been able to use Excel like this during my MAP project and/or during my summer internship, and/or in other courses during my first year in the program." Evening MBA Program students have said while taking TO 512, "I'm already using this material in my day-by-day work life. This is probably the most immediately-usable course I've taken in the MBA program."
No! If you took TO 311 (or BIT 311) as a UM undergrad, then you have, in effect, already taken TO 512, and cannot get credit for taking it again. ( TO 311 is a 3-credit BBA course which, during the first half of the course, covers the same material as TO 512.)
In any event, students not yet registered are welcome to come to the opening class, even if Wolverine Access says there is no space available in the course. It is often possible to sign overrides in such cases for various reasons. Every effort is made to accommodate all students who want to take the courses.
If students try to register for TO 512 or TO 513 at Wolverine Access and the course is full, they can use Wolverine Access to have their name put on a waiting list. The instructor monitors the waiting list and if space becomes available in the course, sends email (top-down) to potentially-affected waitlisted students, describing the steps to follow if they still want to register.
Note that the TO 512 course starts with Chapter 4 (graphical display of information) in the Parsons, Oja, et al. book, assuming prior knowledge of the material in the first three chapters. You can fruitfully study as much material from this book as possible. The more features of Excel you learn now, the less time you'll have to spend if and when you take the TO 512 course.
Browse through the books used in TO 512 and TO 513. Several copies of these books are available on two-hour reserve at the Ross Kresge Library (Ann Arbor) and Ross Southfield Library.
Simply come to the opening TO 512 and/or TO 513 class meeting (whether or not you're registered for the course) and listen to the introduction, discussion of course content and structure, and the detailed presentation/discussion of the Week 1 material (time and data functions; graphical display of information).
Additional questions? You can ask them of the TO 512/ TO 513 instructor, Prof. Thomas J. Schriber, via email: email@example.com