October 27th, 2011, 11:41 AM  #1 
Newbie Joined: Oct 2011 Posts: 3 Thanks: 0  Any suggestions?
Thanks for taking a look at my post. So I am currently going through a bunch of old data collection sheets from a study done in 1976, so there isn't much support online for what i'm seeing on paper and the researchers didn't write down any equations or anything for the numbers they produced from some sort of function while on the boat. My problem is that I need to replicate those equations in excel or systat or something so I know that when I put in the original values I have the computer, myself and the original author are checking on the correct value of the mystery formula. The sheet has a few descriptive values of the water body when the sample occurred I won't go into details about what they mean because it's irrelevant to my overall problem. I have found about 3 of the formulas they used during the day to write down the equated values but I am still missing a very significant one. I found the formula to find one of the values based on a mystery number written down indiscriminately on the top of the sample sheet .00725 I have no idea where that number comes from and this is my problem I need to know it's origin to express it at a later date in writing. So I have a list of numbers that in some combination equal this number 0.00725 I've tried a lot of different possibilities but I was wondering if there is an easier way and i'm too far removed from mathematics at this point that I just can't figure it out. Here are the numbers, I don't know if they are all used or some are used or only 2. 11488 and 4595 and 100 and 3 =(some how) .00725 Is there an easier way to find out an original equation based on a set of numbers than trail and error, i'm sure someone is going to look at this and say Duh... but I got my head so far into regressions and spatial statistics at this point that the answer is evading me. Thanks for any suggestions you can provide, Elliott 
October 27th, 2011, 01:13 PM  #2 
Global Moderator Joined: Nov 2006 From: UTC 5 Posts: 16,046 Thanks: 938 Math Focus: Number theory, computational mathematics, combinatorics, FOM, symbolic logic, TCS, algorithms  Re: Any suggestions?
It's pretty hard to guess without more information on the ways in which they might have been combined. It's also hard because there are ways to get that number from the other numbers that are surely incorrect (say, (100/100 + 100/100 + ... + 100/100)/(100*(100+100+...+100))+33+1148811488+45954595 with 725 and 1000 summands in the two ... expressions) even though they fit the criteria. Also there may have been mistakes, the use of other constants, and rounding, all of which complicate the process. There are tools like ries that can work on problems like this, but this one looks a bit openended for a simple tool like that. 
November 1st, 2011, 12:50 PM  #3 
Newbie Joined: Oct 2011 Posts: 3 Thanks: 0  Re: Any suggestions?
Found it really simple actually don't know why it gave me so many problems. (100/3)/4595 = .00725 And it's constant through all of the other sheets as well. Thanks for looking and replying. 
November 1st, 2011, 04:30 PM  #4 
Global Moderator Joined: Nov 2006 From: UTC 5 Posts: 16,046 Thanks: 938 Math Focus: Number theory, computational mathematics, combinatorics, FOM, symbolic logic, TCS, algorithms  Re: Any suggestions?
Glad to see it's simple!


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