Connecting campuses to promote excellence in math and science


Herbert L. Dershem

Hope College
Computer Science
Getting Real with a Computer
How do we approximate an infinite number system with a finite machine The real number system is a fantastic tool for solving many problems. There is just one difficulty in using this tool with computers: real numbers are infinite and computers are finite. There are a number of approaches to approximating real numbers on computers, each with its advantages and disadvantages. In this talk we will examine those approaches that were tried in the past, the present day standard (floating point), and some approaches that might be of interest in the future.
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