Spreadsheet Engineering

A three-year research project


The Spreadsheet Engineering Research Project (SERP) has been undertaken by a team of researchers at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. The research team consists of Prof. Kenneth Baker (principal investigator), Prof. Stephen Powell, Dr. Barry Lawson, and Dr. Lynn Foster-Johnson. Robert Burnham, a Tuck School Research Computing Associate, and a small group of interns are assisting the team. The purpose of this three-year project, funded by a grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), is to improve the design and use of spreadsheets by individuals and organizations. The research focuses on identifying best practices in spreadsheet development (design, testing, documenting); procedures for implementing, modifying, sharing, and archiving spreadsheets; and organizational policies relating to standards, training and quality control.


A Survey of Spreadsheet Designers and Users in Various Organizations  //

Nearly 1600 responses to a 67-question survey, administered over the web and focused on individuals in seven different institutions, have provided a picture of spreadsheet designers and their practices. This may well be the largest number of responses to a comprehensive survey of its kind. The survey initiative led to the preparation of three papers and three conference presentations. For a copy of a Word version of the on-line survey, a summary of responses, and the three papers, please see Products & Publications

SERP Research on Spreadsheet Auditing and Errors  //

The SERP Team has conducted two major series of audits on spreadsheets collected from a variety of organizations and other sources. This work has shed considerable light on the types of errors that appear in spreadsheets, the frequency of such errors, as well as the financial and other impacts of these errors. Three papers, an auditing protocol and conference presentations have resulted from this segment of the research. For copies of papers on current spreadsheet literature, our auditing protocols and detected errors, please see Products & Publications

Project Bibliography on Spreadsheet Design and Use  //

SERP has continually updated its annotated bibliography of over 100 significant books, articles, research reports, and other sources of information on spreadsheets. For a copy of the annotated Bibliography, please see Products & Publications


Principal Investigator

Prof. Kenneth Baker