Significant Figures & Round-Off Errors (RV-7437)

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This 3-hour interactive course presents the basic concepts of Significant Figures and Round-off Errors in computations using Measured Data. The emphasis is on understanding these concepts so that measurements can be expressed to an appropriate number of significant figures and round-off errors can be avoided in computations.

Key goals are teaching the student to:
1. Analyze the significant figures in observations (readings)
2. Analyze the significant figures in computed results
3. Control round-off errors in calculations to the point of rendering them negligible in their effect on results.

This course is for licensed surveyors, surveying technicians, geodesists, photogrammetrists, engineers, geologists, geographic/land information system personnel, foresters, scientists, mathematicians, teachers and professors who teach basic mathematics and science, and anyone else who uses measurements and must perform or supervise others in calculations using measured data. It is also excellent preparation for licensing exams in land surveying and engineering.

Everything in this course is presented from the 'Point of View' of a surveyor. However, so as to encourage study of this course by others, the material and the test questions are presented at a level that people other than surveyors should be able to follow. A glossary of terms is given for non-surveyors.

This course and the one entitled 'The Theory of Measurement' by this instructor should be considered a prerequisite for more advanced courses that deal with surveying measurements and computations.
Distance Learning
Course Equivalency
Business Practices / Contracts / HR
Health, Safety and Welfare
Learning Outcomes
At the end of this course, the student should be able to:
• Identify and analyze the significant figures in observations and in calculated results that employ measured data, and control round-off errors in computations.
• Apply new understanding to the proper expression of measurements on maps and plats, and in various documents used in his or her profession.
• Determine if the measuring and computational procedures used are sufficiently precise for the purposes of specific engineering or other projects, and recommend improvements if needed.
• Follow more advanced courses and concepts related to measurements and to computations employing measurements.
• Be better prepared for licensing exams in surveying and engineering.
Ben Buckner
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