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Unformatted text preview: Curve Equation, Louis Leon Thurstone
presents a rational function which models the number of words a person can type in four
minutes as a function of the number of pages of practice one has completed. (This paper,
which is now in the public domain and can be found here, is from a bygone era when students
at business schools took typing classes on manual typewriters.) Using his original notation
L X +P
and original language, we have Y = (X(+P )+) where L is the predicted practice limit in terms
of speed units, X is pages written, Y is writing speed in terms of words in four minutes, P is
equivalent previous practice in terms of pages and R is the rate of learning. In Figure 5 of the
paper, he graphs a scatter plot and the curve Y = 216(+148 . Discuss this equation with your
classmates. How would you update the notation? Explain what the horizontal asymptote of
the graph means. You should take some time to look at the original paper. Skip over the
computations you don’t understand yet and try to get a sense of the time and place in which
the study was conducted. 244 4.1.2 Rational Fu...
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