CT-STEM

Modeling U.S. Census Housing Data With Sinusoidal Functions - Preview

Modeling U.S. Census Housing Data With Sinusoidal Functions

Subject: Mathematics
Time: 2-3 Class Periods
Level:

Algebra 2, Pre-Calculus, Statistics

Lesson Overview

The 2-3 day lesson has three related components. The first activity teaches students how to create a spreadsheet that will allow them to calculate the least squared error of a sample data set. The second activity will be to ensure that students understand the effect of the constants in a sinusoidal function, Asin(Bx+C)+D, as well as how to incorporate a general trend line with the sinusoidal function. The third activity will involve downloading data from the Census Bureau website, fitting a curve to the data and analyzing the model by examining the sum of the squared errors.

Background

Housing-starts data for residential construction is a key leading economic indicator.  Decline in the housing market is often used by economists as a signal that economic difficulties are looming.  Successfully modeling these trends, both on a short-term and long-term basis, can help people make decisions regarding the economy and financial markets.

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Standards

Computational Thinking in STEM
• Modeling and Simulation Practices
• Assessing Computational Models
• Using Computational Models to Find and Test Solutions
• Using Computational Models to Understand a Concept
• Computational Problem Solving Practices
• Developing Modular Computational Solutions
• Troubleshooting and Debugging
• Preparing Problems for Computational Solutions
• Data Practices
• Analyzing Data
• Collecting Data
• Creating Data
• Manipulating Data
• Visualizing Data