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


  • fractal

    - Fractals are non-regular geometric shapes that have the same degree of non-regularity on all scales. (WhatIs.com)

  • game theory

    - Game theory is the study of mathematical models of negotiation, conflict and cooperation between individuals, organizations and governments. The study has direct applications in contract theory, ec... (WhatIs.com)

  • binary

    - Binary describes a numbering scheme in which there are only two possible values for each digit: 0 and 1. The term also refers to any digital encoding/decoding system in which there are exactly two ... (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 ...

Tech TalkComment



    Contribute to the conversation

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