Finding the Line of Best Fit

In this section, you will learn a convenient application for linear functions. Given a set of data points, you will be able to determine whether it is linear, and if it is, you will learn how to determine its equation using an online graphing calculator. It's fun when you can finally see the practical applications in math.

Fitting Linear Models to Data

Learning Objectives

In this section, you will:

  • Draw and interpret scatter diagrams.
  • Use a graphing utility to find the line of best fit.
  • Distinguish between linear and nonlinear relations.
  • Fit a regression line to a set of data and use the linear model to make predictions.

A professor is attempting to identify trends among final exam scores. His class has a mixture of students, so he wonders if there is any relationship between age and final exam scores. One way for him to analyze the scores is by creating a diagram that relates the age of each student to the exam score received. In this section, we will examine one such diagram known as a scatter plot.

Source: Rice University,
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