# Least Squares Method

1. Oct 7, 2007

### ksaechao

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

why did you use the least squares method for finding m, rather than the standard slope formula?

2. Relevant equations

3. The attempt at a solution

I am totally confused about why you have to use the least squares method

2. Oct 7, 2007

### mgb_phys

In the real world the measured values don't line on a perfect stright line - due to experimental and measurement errors.
The least squares fit gives the best 'average' fit to the data.

3. Oct 7, 2007

### Integral

Staff Emeritus
In addition to mgb's post, you may well have more then 2 points to fit your line to. Since you are attempting to find the line which best approximates ALL of your data you need method which uses information from all of your data points. The normal methods for determining the parameters of a line use information from only 2 points.

4. Oct 8, 2007

### ksaechao

ok thanks a lot! i think i understand it now