created: 05/29/2002; small changes: 11/11/2002; revised: 05/25/2015

This
chapter is about the **IEEE 754 floating point standard.**
This is a standard for the floating point numbers that are used in nearly all
computers and programming languages since 1985.
Java floating point (on its virtual processor)
and MIPS floating point (on real hardware) conform to this standard.

- Why use floating point?
- History of floating point
- Scientific notation
- Precision of floating point
- IEEE 754 floating point standard
- Converting to floating point notation

(Review: ) Is it absolutely essential that a processor support floating point data?