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Finding Least Squares Lines with Mathematica

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

Year: 1991
Volume: 1
Issue: 1
Page range: 103-111

A detailed study of least squared lines reveals that there are several cases to consider. There are three "close fitting lines", they minimize of the sum of the squares of the vertical distances, horizontal distances, and orthogonal distances, respectively. Students are interested in exploring these three cases as a computer laboratory exercise. The software Mathematica can be used to program the numerical computations and obtain the graph of the lines and points. This demonstrates that Mathematica is more than a computer algebra system; it is also a programming language which can be used for teaching numerical analysis.

*Mathematics > Probability and Statistics