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 Discussion: All in Calculus Topic: Tool: Polynomial Fitting Related Item: http://mathforum.org/mathtools/tool/2141/

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 Subject: RE: Tool: Polynomial Fitting Author: s Date: Jul 26 2004
On Mar  6 2004, Steve wrote:
>
http://mathforum.org/te/exchange/hosted/palu/polynomialftting/PolyFitApplet.html
> Sione introduced me to this one a while ago.  Sione mentions just 2
> of hundreds of different uses for this applet in physics.  The
> environment is user-friendly, with easily changable data tables.
> This would be a great applet to use in any math or science
> classroom.  It will fit any points to a polynomial up to the 10th
> degree.

I am curious as to why the program limits itself to a
> polynomial of degree (n-2), where n is the number of data points.
> Can't polynomials fit any data points if they are of (n-1) degree?
> To put it more simply: I tried putting in (1,1), (2,8), (3,27), and
> (4,64).  A cubic polynomial would obviously fit the data, but the
> program restricts the fitting curve to a polynomial of degree 2,
> since there are only 4 points. Perhaps this task of fitting to
> degree (n-1) is difficult to program--I don't know enough about
> making java applets to say one way or another.

Also, I was
> thinking about the swinging pendulum example, and wondered if there
> could be a way to plot data of the pendulum's position, as well.  It
> might be nice if there was an applet that fit sinusoidal data, or if
> it could be worked into this one.

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