Binary arithmetic is both an educational basis for elementary logic and an pervasive tool for practical mechanics in managing computer systems (at a very particular level). That is the state of affairs. And the history of it is well known: Leibniz introduced it (in 1703), Claude Shannon introduced it as the mathematics behind circuit design in the 1937 (yes, neither invented the concepts, but instead introduced or popularized the notions).
Except I don't know how individuals are presented the material, if at all, in the modern school and university curricula.
In my (very possibly dated) experience, often in late elementary school (in the US system, 4th or 5th grade), a section is taught on alternate number systems (Mayan, Babylonian, binary, maybe even Roman). Basically all that is presented are some different ways of writing digits, and you learn how to write a number and that's about as far as it goes, no binary addition.
It is fairly common practice now to have computer classes in high school, but only to the extent of teaching the simplest of programming.
In the university setting, it is assumed as a matter of course that binary, and even hexadecimal, manipulation is understood, with no mention of the basics. The students deal with it with no problem at all (as far as I can tell).
My questions are:
- Does the above description match others (in detail, or in the general observation that binary is never explicitly taught)? That is, in the US secondary/tertiary system, is binary arithmetic taught at a particular stage? If not, is it considered so elementary?
- Is it taught in the school system in other countries, and if so at what stage, and with what extent?
- Additional question: Is it taught at all in university classes? (in my experience not in Discrete Math or in elementary computer engineering)