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ERIC Number: EJ826622
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Oct
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 7
ISSN: ISSN-0731-9258
Using Spreadsheets to Discover Meaning for Parameters in Nonlinear Models
Green, Kris H.
Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, v27 n4 p423-441 Oct 2008
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. (Contains 5 tables and 5 figures.)
Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education. P.O. Box 1545, Chesapeake, VA 23327-1545. Tel: 757-366-5606; Fax: 703-997-8760; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A