1. ## Random Number Generator

I supervise a computer lab at a community college. A course assignment in a statistics class calls for students to create a random list of numbers using Excel's "Random Number Generator." Even though I'm an advanced intermediate user of Excel, I'm clueless on how to do this. I played around with it, and the help files (which I find singularly UNhelpful!!) and can't figure it out. Anyone know where I can go to see a step-by-step explanation of how to use the dialogue box to get a random set of numbers generated?

-Susabelle

2. ## Re: Random Number Generator

Maybe I'm simple (ok, definitely), but I'd just create a column with =Rand() in as many cells as I needed random numbers. If I didn't want them to change every time recalc happened, I'd do a copy/paste values.

Is that what you are after, or am I missing something?

Jon

3. ## Re: Random Number Generator

Here's the gist of the assignment:

Using your social security number in format ABC-DE-FGHI, use Excel's random number generator to create a random list of numbers where DE is your smallest number and ABC is your largest number.

I was totally lost at this point, although, from that point on, the assignment made sense ("choose 10 random numbers and create a chart to indicate...etc.") because of my limited knowledge of statistics. I just could NOT figure out what to do with the social security number to get a random list. Does this help clarify this any?

-Susabelle

4. ## Re: Random Number Generator

The Random number generator is a tool in the Analysis Tool Pack, which you must install as an add-in. But you don't need the generator to return a random set between two fixed numbers.

Pull up the function wizard (Insert => Function). Select the "All" category in the left side box. Scroll down the right side box and find RANDBETWEEN. Select it.
Things get pretty self-directed from there.

BTW, the random number generator is a great statistical tool. You can produce a list like you described using the "uniform distribution" option.

Try it. You'll like it.

Regards.

5. ## Re: Random Number Generator

A formula like the following will generate a random number between DE and ABC:

=DE+(ABC-DE)*Rand()

You can copy that formula to as many cells as you need to get the number of values you need. You may also need to use the Round function to round the values to the number of digits you need. If you don't want the values to change every time the sheet recalculates, then copy the range and do a paste special values.

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