9    Linear Least-Squared Error Modeling

We owe the method of least squares to the genius of Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777–1855), who at the age of only 24 made the first widely accepted application of least-squared error modeling to astronomy in the prediction of the orbit of the asteroid Ceres from only a few position measurements before it was lost from view [1]. This was an amazing calculation even by today’s standards. When the asteroid reappeared months later, it was very close to the position Gauss predicted it would be in, a fact which stunned the astronomical community around the world. Gauss made many other even more significant contributions to astronomy and mathematics. But, without much doubt, least- squared error modeling is one ...

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