Using the Spreadsheet in Mathematics Explorations
by
Rita Meyers

This Exploration deals with trying to predict how many board feet you can get from from a tree in a forest given the age of the tree.  The following data was acquired from the lumber industry.

 Age of Tree 100s of Board Ft 20 1 40 6 60 80 33 100 56 120 88 140 160 182 180 200 320

To get a real understanding of the data, let's graph the information with a scatterplot graph

Using our excel spreadsheet we can predict values...
A possible equation we can try would be

So now that we have an equation let's put it in our spreadsheet and see what predictions we can make...

 Age of Tree 100s of Board Feet Predicted Values 20 1 .01 40 6 3.58 60 15.15 80 33 34.72 100 56 62.28 120 88 97.85 140 141.42 160 182 192.99 180 252.56 200 320 320.12

We will now compare this table with the given table by looking at the scatterplot of the predicted values overlaying the previous graph.

Comparison Graph

With this information let's predict a few more
Age of Tree Predicted Values

 Age of Tree 100s of Board Feet 5 2.59 56 12.19 97 57.64 158 187.47 295 750.32 375 1252.59 450 1839.72