Curve fitting guide

By Brian Winkel


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Fitting Models to Biological Data Using Linear and Nonlinear Regression: A Practical Guide to Curve Fitting

Motulsky, Harvey and Arthur Christopoulos. 2001. Fitting Models to Biological Data Using Linear and Nonlinear Regression: A Practical Guide to Curve Fitting. La Jolla CA: GraphPad Software. 351 pp. Freely downloadable pdf text, . Accessed 29 November 2014.

This wonderful and practical guide offers a powerful combination of biostatistics, curve fitting (nonlinear regression) and scientific graphing. The text is to accompany GraphPad’s software package, Prism, which is used in the world’s leading universities, medical centers, research institutes and pharmaceutical companies. The software has different pricing schemes for academics (non-expiring license @$450 with CD; personal one year subscription license @$150). See complete information at .

The text is a VERY practical guide with lots of tips, warnings, admonitions, global and specific advice, practical experience supported rule of thumb type of information as well as very technical mathematical and statistical material. Differential equation models are major to the work and lots of examples from biology and pharmacology are given and serve as illustrations.

One could assign students to read sections to get a feel for what can be done to estimate parameters in models. Even without using the software (because the text is really not software dependent) a reader can learn a great deal about the theory and practice of curve fitting.

The text has 10 chapters and only the last chapter refers to GraphPad Prism software. The other chapters are about (A) Fitting data with nonlinear regression, (D) How nonlinear regression works, (E) Confidence intervals of the parameters, and (Fitting) dose-response curves, as examples.

Finally, there is a rich and well annotated bibliography in which the authors give specifics and endorsements about the text reference.

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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Brian Winkel (2017), "Curve fitting guide,"

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