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Using Spreadsheets to Discover Meaning for Parameters in Nonlinear Models
Article

, St. John Fisher College, United States

JCMST Volume 27, Number 4, ISSN 0731-9258 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC USA

Abstract

This paper explores the use of spreadsheets to develop an exploratory environment where mathematics students can develop their own understanding of the parameters of commonly encountered families of functions: linear, logarithmic, exponential and power. The key to this understanding involves opening up the definition of rate of change from the proportional change used to understand linear functions to a definition that includes percent changes. Through the use of the spreadsheet model, students can explore and easily determine which type of change is most natural for a given family of functions. This, in turn, provides a mechanism for interpreting the parameters of the function numerically, rather than graphically, as is common.

Citation

Green, K.H. (2008). Using Spreadsheets to Discover Meaning for Parameters in Nonlinear Models. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 27(4), 423-441. Waynesville, NC USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved April 1, 2020 from .

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