IEEE Format for Binary Floating Point Numbers

Computer Architecture


  • Pam Smallwood Regis University


In this activity, students will discover how to represent a floating point number (i.e. number with fractional part) using the IEEE single precision floating point format.  Students should already know how to covert decimal integers to unsigned and signed 2’s complement binary and hexadecimal.  The activity was designed for use in a Computer Organization & Architecture course, but could also be used in a CS0 or CS1 course that covers data representation.

This activity was developed with NSF support through IUSE-1626765. You may request access to this activity via the following link: IntroCS-POGIL Activity Writing Program

  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Setting: Classroom
  • Activity Type: Learning Cycle
  • Discipline: Computer Science
  • Course: Computer Architecture
  • Keywords: float data type, IEEE 754 standard, IEEE 754 binary format




How to Cite

Smallwood, P. (2023). IEEE Format for Binary Floating Point Numbers: Computer Architecture. POGIL Activity Clearinghouse, 3(4). Retrieved from



CS-POGIL Activity Writing Program