Suggested Help Questions
  1. How small is the error between three and four significant digits? Can it be ignored?
  2. What combination of multiplication, division, subtraction and addition makes the rounding error the greatest?
Technical Help

This simulation demonstrates the error that can be introduced by rounding. By using the pull-down menu, you can select the number of significant digits from 1 to 5 for each number you enter. The actual numbers are entered by clicking on the text box and typing the numbers. The operations on the numbers (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) can be changed by using the pull-down menus.

The simulation calculates the resultant numbers using the actual entered numbers and the rounded numbers. The percent difference between the two is then shown. Only three operations are permitted on four numbers.

Use this pull-down menu to select the number of significant digits for the problem.
This window gives the actual calculated number without rounding.
This window gives the calculated number if all numbers are rounded to the significant digits you set.
This window gives percent error between the actual and rounded solutions.

Use the text fields below to enter the numbers. Use the pull-down menus to set the operation.
The following output text fields are the rounded numbers for each of the previously entered numbers.