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Binary floating point numbers

z25This section of work is aimed at teaching students in the sixth form (pre-university) the fundamentals of binary floating-point numbers. In particular, it aims to exactly meet the needs of the OCR A2 Computing course, although teachers and students of other boards will find it useful, too. The work your find here assumes that students have an understanding of the way that the binary system of number representation works and have had some experience of using two’s complement. If it has been a while since students have done any work on these two areas then reviewing them would be a good introduction to this short course. The students can be used as a self-study guide but will be more useful with the help of a teacher!

It is envisaged that these lessons will take about eight 50-minute lessons to work through, with some additional time being spent for homework.

Do note that this booklet is not intended to teach pupils up to the standards required for IEEE Standard 754 but serves only to introduce pupils to the concept of binary floating-point numbers and how they work in order that they can tackle A2 Computing examination questions!