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Unit of study_

# OLET1622: Numbers and Numerics

### 2024 unit information

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.

## Unit details and rules

#### Physics Academic Operations

Code OLET1622 Physics Academic Operations 2
 Prerequisites: ? None None COSC1003 or COSC1903 HSC Mathematics

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

• LO1. understand how numbers are represented on computers
• LO2. discuss some of the issues associated with numerical representation
• LO3. perform simple calculations associated with numerical representation
• LO4. write short programs (in Python) to perform numerical calculations

## Unit availability

This section lists the session, attendance modes and locations the unit is available in. There is a unit outline for each of the unit availabilities, which gives you information about the unit including assessment details and a schedule of weekly activities.

The outline is published 2 weeks before the first day of teaching. You can look at previous outlines for a guide to the details of a unit.

Session MoA   Location Outline
Semester 1a 2024
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Intensive July 2024
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Outline unavailable
Semester 2a 2024
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Outline unavailable
Session MoA   Location Outline
Semester 1 2020
Online Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 2 2020
Online Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Intensive July 2020
Online Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Intensive March 2021
Online Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Intensive July 2021
Online Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Intensive October 2021
Online Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 1 2022
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 2 2022
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Intensive July 2022
Online Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 1a 2023
Online Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Intensive July 2023
Online Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 2a 2023
Online Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

### Modes of attendance (MoA)

This refers to the Mode of attendance (MoA) for the unit as it appears when you’re selecting your units in Sydney Student. Find more information about modes of attendance on our website.