A Pretty Good Fit


Authors: 
Tim Erickson
Volume: 
102(4)
Pages: 
online
Year: 
2008
Publisher: 
Mathematics Teacher
URL: 
http://my.nctm.org/eresources/article_summary.asp?URI=MT2008-11-256a&from=B
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.