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Bounded Population Growth: A Curve Fitting Lesson

John H. Mathews
Organization: California State University Fullerton
Department: Mathematics
URL: http://math.fullerton.edu/mathews/
Journal / Anthology

Mathematics and Computer Education
Year: 1992
Volume: 26
Issue: 2
Page range: 169-176

The logistic curve is presented as a mathematical model for population growth in calculus, differential equations and mathematical modeling textbooks. However, there is seldom a development of how to obtain the coefficients for this model. The purpose of this article is to present two methods for fitting the logistic curve to data supplied by the U.S. census bureau. The computer algebra software Mathematica is used in this article to carry out the computations and plot graphs. However, it is not essential to use such sophisticated software. It is easy for students to obtain the solution using the "data linearization" method on a pocket calculator such as the Hewlett-Packard 20S or Texas Instrument 30SLR.

*Mathematics > Probability and Statistics
*Science > Biology