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Unit of study_

Numbers and Numerics - OLET1622

Year - 2019

Computational science underpins modern science, engineering and finance. It provides numerical solutions to problems that can't be solved analytically, and explores problems that are not amenable to experiments. This unit focuses on the foundation of numerical computing: how numbers are represented and manipulated by computers. Understanding the representation of integers and real numbers, and their fundamental limitations is critical for accurate numerical calculations. For example, if you add the value 0.1 a total of one million times, the exact answer is 1,000,000 x 0.1 = 100,000. However, when you do this on a computer the answer might be 100,958.3. This is a limitation of the floating-point representation of numbers in every modern computer - but most people are unaware of it! In this Unit you will learn about number systems and binary, two's complement representation for integers; fixed and floating-point representations for real numbers; precision and overflow, rounding and truncation errors. We will illustrate these with practical examples, and show how mistakes in computational calculations can result in catastrophes such as the explosion of the Ariane 5 rocket. All activities will be done in Python 3, a widely used modern programming language.

Classes
4 weeks of online tutorials, programming activities and online video lectures

Assessment
online quizzes and a computational exam

Textbooks
None

Assumed knowledge
HSC Mathematics

Prohibitions

COSC1003 or COSC1903

Details

Faculty: Science

Semester 1

25 Feb 2019

Department/School: Physics Academic Operations
Study Mode: Online
Census Date: 31 Mar 2019
Unit of study level: Junior
Credit points: 2.0
EFTSL: 0.042
Available for study abroad and exchange: Yes
Faculty/department permission required? No
Location
Camperdown
Faculty: Science

Semester 2

05 Aug 2019

Department/School: Physics Academic Operations
Study Mode: Online
Census Date: 31 Aug 2019
Unit of study level: Junior
Credit points: 2.0
EFTSL: 0.042
Available for study abroad and exchange: Yes
Faculty/department permission required? No
Location
Camperdown
Faculty: Science

Intensive July

24 Jun 2019

Department/School: Physics Academic Operations
Study Mode: Online
Census Date: 19 Jul 2019
Unit of study level: Junior
Credit points: 2.0
EFTSL: 0.042
Available for study abroad and exchange: Yes
Faculty/department permission required? No
Location
Camperdown
More details
Unit of Study coordinator: Dr Tara Murphy
HECS Band: 2
Courses that offer this unit

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