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## fitting an ellipse

**From**: |
Streph Treadway |

**Subject**: |
fitting an ellipse |

**Date**: |
Sat, 21 Dec 2002 08:26:09 -0500 |

**User-agent**: |
Mutt/1.4i |

Hi, all,
I am currently teaching a unit on conic section in my high school
mathematics class. I plan to use octave, gnuplot and epstk so that my
students can generate ellipses by choosing various values for center
coordinates, semi-major axis and eccentricity.
To plot ellipses, I have been using commands like:
t=[0:.01:2*pi];
x=a*sin(t);
y=b*cos(t);
plot(x, y);
where a and b are the semi-major and simi-minor axes of the ellipse.
I'd like to also have my students try an experiment duplicating, in 2
dimensions rather than 3, Gauss' determination of the orbit of Ceres. I
have been experimenting with leasqr recently and quite enjoy it, but am
stumped when it comes to fitting two functions simultaneously to the
same set of data. I suppose I could fit each trig function separately,
but I would love to have the very instructively graphic output of leasqr
produce an ellipse.
Any suggestions?
Yours,
Streph
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**fitting an ellipse**,
*Streph Treadway* **<=**