Saturday, September 28, 2013

Using Logger Pro in Quadratic Modeling!

One of the wonderful things of teaching in different schools is that you get to learn from different teachers. My current school has a site-wide license for Logger Pro, which (I know, unfortunately) is a proprietary program that allows you to import and analyze videos. It pulls the scaling information based on your definition of what 1 meter looks like in the video, and it uses the timestamps built into the video to retrieve timing info. From that, this program is able to pull both position information over time, and estimated velocity information over time. (The velocity bit is not that precise, however.)

I was playing around with this piece of software this morning because our Precalculus course team wishes to incorporate it into our Quadratics unit. I imported a video from David Cox, which can be found at,

and I got this screenshot in Logger Pro. The red is the horizontal position of the yellow ball over time, for the frames that I chose. The blue is the vertical position of the yellow ball over time, for the frames that I chose.

I love this! I can see letting my kids do the same, picking out points from a video that includes both dimensions of movement, and then discussing why height is always quadratic and the horizontal distance is not. And then, they will do quadratic modeling both by hand (by setting up a system of equations) and on the calculator (via regression) in order to find the curve that fits this graph. LOVE IT!

PS. If you are lucky enough to work at a school that would agree to get a site-wide license, the really nice thing is that you get to install it at home completely legally, which is great for both you and the students. So, keep that in mind when you are talking to your admin! 

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