eeps media
a really small educational publishing company

 Products Projects Resources Jobs

The Model Shop:
Learning about Elementary Functions through Data

The Model Shop is a collection of 54 problem sets in which students work to find a mathematical model for a set of data. There are many kinds of models, but in this book, we're concerned about elementary functions: lines, parabolas, square roots, exponentials, sinusoids, and power laws.

The data comes on a CD-ROM. You can use any data analysis package to analyze it, but the most fun would be Fathom Dynamic Data (TM) doftware from Key Curriculum Press.

The book begins with linear functions as an introduction to Fathom and to modeling. Then we see a data set for each family of elementary functions. Then things really get interesting.

After students have met all of the familes of functions in the book, three sections follow: in the first, students get a formula or its equivalent that they can use to make sense of the data. In the second, they get no help in trying to decide what kind of function it might be. In the third, they may get some help, but the data analysis will require stepping a little outside the box of the plain elementary function.

To do this, students need some help. The book contains an extensive section about transforming functions by sliding and stretching (i.e., trandlation and dilation), a section about using residual plots to help in data analysis, and another on transforming data to make them linear.

 Model Shop Resources: under construction!