What is algorithm? - Definition from WhatIs.com
Part of the Mathematics glossary:

An algorithm (pronounced AL-go-rith-um) is a procedure or formula for solving a problem. The word derives from the name of the mathematician, Mohammed ibn-Musa al-Khwarizmi, who was part of the royal court in Baghdad and who lived from about 780 to 850. Al-Khwarizmi's work is the likely source for the word algebra as well.

A computer program can be viewed as an elaborate algorithm. In mathematics and computer science, an algorithm usually means a small procedure that solves a recurrent problem.

This was last updated in July 2014
Contributor(s): Fouad Tawfiq and Ali
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms


  • extrapolation and interpolation

    - Extrapolation is an estimation of a value based on extending a known sequence of values or facts beyond the area that is certainly known. (WhatIs.com)

  • negative correlation

    - A negative correlation is a relationship between two variables such that as the value of one variable increases, the other decreases.  Correlation is expressed on a range from +1 to -1, known as th... (WhatIs.com)

  • Euler diagram

    - An Euler diagram (pronounced OY-ler diagram) is a graphic depiction commonly used to illustrate the relationships between sets or groups; the diagrams are usually drawn with circles or ovals, altho... (WhatIs.com)


  • Mathematics

    - Terms related to mathematics, including definitions about logic, algorithms and computations and mathematical terms used in computer science and business.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question. Find an Answer.Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Ask An IT Question

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Ask Question

Tech TalkComment



    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.