Material Detail

Number System Conversion Tool

Number System Conversion Tool

This tool uses JavaScript to implement a number system conversion tool that can be used to teach the concepts of different number systems as part of an introductory math or computer science course. Users can convert numbers from decimal to another base, and from other bases to decimal, and the conversion process is explained. There is also a quiz feature which allows students to test their ability to convert numbers on their own.... Show More


More about this material


Log in to participate in the discussions or sign up if you are not already a MERLOT member.
Wayne Brehaut
Wayne Brehaut (Faculty)
15 years ago
My first test was to convert -10 decimal to binary, and this gave an error message saying that '-' was not a decimal digit. There was no note on the tool itself that negative numbers were not allowed. The tutorial didn't mention this restriction either.

Although there may be a good reason for the restriction in "lesson 1", one can hardly advertise this as a suitable tool for "introductory math or computer science course(s)" and for an audience including "Graduate School , Professional" when it is so "minimal." Computer Science students, in particular, need to know about how negative binary numbers are represented using two's-complement--and everyone should know how to represent them in all the bases included in this tool by prefixing with a negative sign! And how hard could it be to include this in JavaScript?

After testing the quiz system, I agree with the previous reviewer who found it very elementary: it does not include any particularly effective feedback or opportunity to learn from errors, and there's no obvious reason for not reusing the "Explanation" functionality from the conversion tool itself to explain how the correct answer is obtained, instead of just displaying it when the student gives up.

The look-and-feel of the tutorial part, at least, could stand considerable improvement also, especially use of a grid to display the positional notation.

The whole system appears to be very much a "quick and dirty" implementation of the easiest part of number conversion. It needs considerable improvement in functionality, content, and documentation--both the tutorial and the user documentation--to be suitable for the intended audience.

I doubt that those who gave a high rating for this tool had checked many other such tools--though perhaps there weren't so many on the web when they did their assessments as there are now. There is now no need to use such an elementary converter, or to settle for such an elementary "tutorial."
Dr. Judy Ann Serwatka
18 years ago
This site goes beyond some of the other conversion sites I've seen in that it
actually gives the conversion formula. It works well, and would be a good
teaching tool to use in a classroom environment.
Used in course? Yes
Bob Tucker
Bob Tucker (Student)
20 years ago
Excellent tool. I am currently working with base conversions and found this
tool to be very useful. The only limitations I found with the tool was its'
inability to convert anything with a base larger than 16. This tool is
definately helpful with its' explanations on how the conversions work.
Ryan White
Ryan White (Student)
20 years ago
Ecellent tool. I liked everything from the layout, to the functionality of the
tool. Very nice. Definitely a good learning tool.
Turner (Student)
20 years ago
I'm a student at TSUM in Alabama. We recently covered numbering system
conversions in class and I spent time using this site to check some of the work
I was assigned. The site was very helpful in checking some of the larger
numbers. I feel this site will prove very useful to both teachers and students.
The site is very user friendly.