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200 years of least squares method. (English) Zbl 1003.01008
The title of this paper, apparently written for nonspecialists, bespeaks the quality of its language. The authors dwell on the re-discovery of the small planet Ceres after Gauss, by means of scarce observations, had calculated its orbit; describe Gauss’ first justification of the method of least squares; list other, partly post-Gaussian developments; and illustrate the application of the method, in particular to the estimation of the precision of Leonardo da Vinci’s drawing of a regular polyhedron.
The authors use the (seemingly dated) misnomer “Gauss-Markov theorem” and drop a few careless statements.

MSC:
01A55 History of mathematics in the 19th century
01A60 History of mathematics in the 20th century
Software:
NewtonLib
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