Mathias Brandewinder on .NET, F#, VSTO and Excel development, and quantitative analysis / machine learning.
by Mathias 21. July 2008 17:45

Via Wired, came across this great website, with a more rockin' version of the "to be or not to be" dilemma:

funny graphs
more graph humor and song chart memes

by Mathias 13. July 2008 18:42

I was just reading this post on Juan Carlos Méndez-García's blog, where he describes when and how to use harmonic averages. I hadn't seen that average in a long while, and thought his example provided a good illustration as to why this seemingly odd way to compute averages would make sense.
Practically, there is one issue, though: Excel doesn't come up with a built-in Harmonic Average function. I thought I would give a shot at writing a user-defined function that does just that. The function I wrote mimics SUMPRODUCT(), but is called HarmonicAverage, and takes 2 ranges as arguments. The first range is the weight of each observation, the second the value of the observation.

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by Mathias 7. July 2008 18:19
Just thought I would point out this page at Acaso Analytics, where Billy Boyle used my previous post on how to use a simple S-shaped curve to model the introduction of a new product on a market, and created a very cool interactive dashboard which illustrates how the curve looks like, and what happens to it when the parameters change. I am a big fan of quantitative models, and enjoyed his other posts as well, which are an eclectic collection of "illustrated" famous quantitative models. Nothing tells the story behind a mathematical model better than a good chart, or, better, an interactive one!
by Mathias 5. July 2008 08:12

First piece of good news this week, the website for Silicon Valley CodeCamp 08 is up (and beautiful!), and registrations are open. If you haven't been at CodeCamp yet, you should definitely check it out: it's free, it's by developers, for developers, and it's fun. It's a great place to go to meet fellow developers and learn; and if you are itching to try out your presentation skills and are passionate about a topic, it's a great place to get your feet wet with a friendly crowd! I plan on giving two talks this year, one on Test-Driven Development, and one on VSTO development.

Second piece of good news, after a bit of a hibernation period, the Silicon Valley / South Bay chapter of Bay.Net is resurfacing! Stay tuned on the Bay.Net website for updates - but as of now, the first session is expected to take place end July, with Scott Stanfield of Vertigo talking about DeepZoom, a spectacular illustration of what can be done with Silverlight.

by Mathias 2. July 2008 11:19

If you have been looking at my recent bookmarks, you may have noticed a pattern: they all revolve around Excel and VSTO. The reason is that I am starting multiple Excel development projects in the next few weeks. I am very experienced in VBA and Office development, but after 4 years of writing C# code in Visual Studio, I have been spoiled, and VBA suddenly feels very painful to work with, as if I were traveling back in time to the middle-ages of development.

Fortunately, there is now an alternative: with VSTO, you can add custom features to classic Office applications, using .NET languages and the comfort of Visual Studio 2008. So I thought it was time to give VSTO a shot.

My first project was to establish a simple way to expose the add-in functionality to the user through menus. I started from this article, and adapted the code to encapsulate the menu-related behavior in one easy-to-use class, the MenuManager.

The sample add-in works with Office 2003 and 2007, and Windows XP and Vista. It installs an add-in which creates its own menu in Excel, “My Add-In”, containing two choices, “Do This” and “Do That”. When these are clicked, message boxes pop up, displaying if the user has selected to "Do This" or "Do That", and the name of the currently active sheet.

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