Curve Fitting Exercise in MATLAB
This activity was selected for the Teaching Computation in the Sciences Using MATLAB Peer Reviewed Teaching Collection
This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are
- Computational, Quantitative, and Scientific Accuracy
- Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
- Pedagogic Effectiveness
- Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
- Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page
For more information about the peer review process itself, please see https://serc.carleton.edu/teaching_computation/materials/activity_review.html.
This page first made public: Oct 7, 2016
1. Fit a curve to data and determining goodness of fit
2. Use the function fminsearch in MATLAB to minimize a function
3. Understand vocabulary used to describe model fits to data
4. Use simple theory about model fitting to select the best model for a data set
Students write their own MATLAB code (with hints), which teaches them a skill that allows them to fit models to data sets later in their education and careers with great flexibility.
Context for Use
1. Write and run MATLAB script files
2. perform matrix algebra using MATLAB.
3. Look up and call functions in MATLAB.
4. Use the plot function
If the students have also learned to input and output data and use flow control functions, the activity could be modified to make use of these skills, but they are not required for this activity.
This activity requires no discipline specific knowledge; while the data set involves a pharmaceutical/bioengineering example, all information needed to understand it is provided, and it would be appropriate for any students with interest in medicine. It would also be fairly simple for an instructor to exchange in a new data set and discipline-specific learning objectives to better integrate the activity into their curriculum. It should even be possible to use the same data provided, but change the units and description, as long as the data description would be consistent with the exponential approach model used.
The assignment should take students less than three hours and could be appropriate as a lab activity or as a homework assignment.
Description and Teaching Materials
Student Handout for Curve Fitting Excercise in MATLAB (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 29kB Oct5 16)