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A Pretty Good Fit

Tim Erickson 

November 2008, Volume 102, Issue 4, Page 256

Abstract:
We often look for a best-fit function to a set of data. This article describes how a "pretty good" fit might be better than a "best" fit when it comes to promoting conceptual understanding of functions. In a pretty good fit, students design the function themselves rather than choosing it from a menu; they use appropriate variable names; and they vary parameter values by hand—sometimes with the aid of residuals and other tools—to help their function fit the data.

Keywords:
Article
Algebra
Grades 9-12
Regression
Teacher
Technology