This course covers the maths behind how your computer stores and manipulates data. You'll learn how to read binary and hexadecimal, how both integers and floating point numbers are stored and the limitations of using them. Advice on best practices and how to work effectively with boolean values and bitwise operators.
Have you ever wondered exactly why displaying the contents of memory often gives strange-looking numbers like 0x38FF that contain letters? Or puzzled over a time when your code added two floating point numbers but the result wasn't quite correct? If so, then this is the course for you. It aims to teach you the mathematics behind how computers store and manipulate numbers and booleans. You'll learn, amongst other things, how to read binary and hexadecimal numbers, and why floating point numbers are almost always stored with small errors and how to estimate how big those errors are. You'll find out how to simplify complex logical expressions, or how to use logical operators and bitwise flags to very efficiently store and manipulate sets of true/false properties. The course also features lots of advice on best practices for working with numerical and boolean data. Underpinning all this, you'll learn how to see your data the way a computer sees it. And that, when your job involves writing or debugging code that manipulates millions of bytes of data, is a very useful skill to have.
What will I learn in this course?
In this course you will learn about:
How data is stored in computers
How to read and understand binary
How to read and understand hexadecimal code
Integers and floating point numbers
How to work with boolean values
How to work with bitwise operators
Arithmetic and error propagation
What is binary?
Binary is a number system made up of only 0s and 1s, which represent "off" or "on" respectively. This allows numbers to be represented physically inside the computer, which makes it possible for the device to perform calculation. Binary is used to write data, like instructions for the computer processor.
What is hexadecimal?
Hexadecimal, or hex, is a number system that uses 16 as its base, rather than 10. Rather than just using the digits 0-9, it also uses letters A-F to represent values of ten to fifteen. Hexadecimal simplifies how binary is represented, so an 8-bit binary number becomes a 2-digit hex number.
Who should take this course?
This course is for anyone who wants to learn the mathematics behind how computers store and manipulate numbers and booleans! It is also great if you are trying to learn how to read binary and hexadecimal numbers.
Are there any prerequisites?
There are no strict prerequisites to this course, but it is intermediate level material, so come prepared to exercise those mental muscles!