# Guiding students through Semi-log and Log-log Plots

*An instructor's guide to* *Log Plots*

Kyle Fredrick (Pennsylvania Western University - California, PA)

Yongli Gao (The University of Texas at San Antonio)

## What should students get out of this module?

After completing this module, a student should be able to:

- Evaluate data for the spread, or range, to determine the appropriateness of Semi-log or Log-log plots
- Develop graphical relationships;
- Interpret graphical data to determine optimal fit of mathematical functions;
- Analyze mathematical models to explain and predict the behavior of a system.

## Why are these math skills challenging to incorporate into courses?

Undergraduate Earth Science students are generally familiar with graphs and answering questions based on graphical data. However, when pressed, they often can't explain why the axes of a graph may not use a conventional numbering

## What we don't include in the page?

The focus of the module is heavily weighted toward reading and interpreting graphs. There are additional The Math You Need for Majors modules addressing Exponential relationships, Logarithms, and Orders of Magnitude. Our module defers to those, especially Logarithms, which emphasize

## Instructor resources

### Support for teaching this quantitative skill

- One or more other resources that can
**help instructors teach**about this topic. SERC collections such as Teaching Quantitative Skills can be a helpful place to look.

### Examples of activities that use this quantitative skill

- Stream Discharge Module for students to download, organize and analyze streamflow data.
- Earthquake Magnitude Module for students to learn the scale of earthquake magnitude and energy release.
- Investigating dimensions of the solar system and Planetary Fact Sheet