ENCAPSULATE COMPLEX FORMULAS IN LAMBDA

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Author: Bill Jelen
Date: Mar. 2021
From: Strategic Finance(Vol. 102, Issue 9)
Publisher: Institute of Management Accountants
Document Type: Article
Length: 795 words
Lexile Measure: 1100L

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Excel has a great f ormula language with hundreds of built-in calculations, but it doesn't have functions for every possible calculation. A new research project from Microsoft's Calc Intelligence team in England will allow you to create your own functions and store them in Excels Name Manager.

The new function, LAMBDA, is available for any Microsoft 365 subscribers who opt into the Office Insiders program's Beta Channel. It's named in honor of Princeton University mathematician Alonzo Church, who invented lambda calculus in 1936. Church was the doctoral advisor of Alan Turing, the famous mathematician who proposed the Turing machine to perform calculations long before modern computers were invented.

USING LAMBDA

Say that you have any complex calculation where you might need to pass variables to the calculation. You can store the variable names and the logic inside the LAMBDA function. After testing in the worksheet, you create a Name and store the logic in the name.

Let's start with a simple example. In a right triangle, the length of the hypotenuse is the square root of A squared plus B squared. To calculate the hypotenuse, you would use a formula such as =LAMBDA(A,B,SQRT(A^2+B^2)).

In this formula, the first...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A654002005