What is “best”?

Last week, my mechanical engineering laboratory experiment consisted of using a hanging pendulum to learn how to draw “best fit” graphs.My professor, who is a really tough person, was teaching the class about what it means to have a best fit curve. The way he put it, “best” is a very relative term, and we have to use some sort of standard to figure out how to find the “best fit” of a set of data points. We derived a system of equations to determine values of coefficients for lines of best fit using the data points.

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It truly is a tedious task, but one that has to be done. In the end, it doesn’t take too long if you are efficient and can work with a calculator with ease.

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