ucim wrote:I've got Time. Lay it on me!charlie_grumbles wrote:Now, let me teach you about the "hidden bit in floating point representation....." <no, don't even ask>
The technical description is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Significand. The reason I raised it is that there was a time at which this was important to teach to students, but no longer and few even know about it, since floating point has been both standardized and implemented. But in the far distant past, computers didn't "know" how to do this stuff, so a working programmer had to be able to program it from scratch. Thus, in the few existing computer science programming courses at the time, it had to be taught.
Generally, in CS we teach (oops - taught - retired now) undergraduates what every working geek needs to know. At the Master's level we teach problems thought to be hard at the time. At the doctoral level we teach students to approach unsolved problems. True in all fields, I think. But this was just journeyman stuff back then (yes, mostly "man" then). But now that it is built in, we can teach higher level (abstraction again) stuff.
So, if I teach this to undergrads at all, it would be (a) cursory (b) to give a bit of history - as here, or (c) to illustrate that it is possible to capture 65 bits of information in 64 bits. But as for really teaching it at a deep level, no. Students no longer need it. But they do need other things now, that we didn't then (as they were then beyond our dreams).
Another point. Every student should go beyond his or her teachers. This is how we advance as a species. If it weren't true, there could be no progress. So, young kiddies here, use your teachers as a launch pad. You are just as "smart" as they are, though they may have more experience. Einstein would be amazed at some of the stuff going on in Physics today.