# Curve Fitting

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## Session Overview This lecture is about how to use computation to help understand experimental data. It talks about using linear regression to fit a curve to data, and introduces the coefficient of determination as a measure of the tightness of a fit.

## Session Activities

### Lecture Videos

Topics covered: Arrays, curve fitting, numpy, pylab, least squares fit, prediction.

### Recitation Videos

Topics covered: Data distributions, mean, standard deviation, Monte Carlo simulations, Monty Hall problem, Riemann sum method, data regressions, r^2 (r-squared), coefficient of termination, scientific applications of programming.

## Check Yourself

What is an objective function?

One that provides a quantitative assessment of how well the curve fits the data.

What method of curve fitting is used by polyfit?

Linear regression.

What does curve fitting do?

Relates an independent variable to an estimated value of a dependent variable.

What is the coefficient of determination?

Coefficient of determination, R^2, is equal to 1 – (estimated error)/(variance of the actual data)

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#### Learning Resource Types

theaters Lecture Videos
theaters Recitation Videos
assignment_turned_in Problem Sets with Solutions