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Video:What Is an Algorithm?

with Nazly Jordan

An algorithm is a step by step procedure to solve a problem. Many algorithms are applied to mathematical equations. Check out these examples and learn how to apply an algorithms to math.See Transcript

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Transcript:What Is an Algorithm?

Hi, I'm Nazly Jordan for About.com and today I am going to show you what an Algorithm is.

An algorithm is a set of steps that helps us solve a specific problem. Let's assume we want to unlock a door. Then we need to do these two steps: First: insert a key into the lock,and second: turn the key. A set of steps like this one is called an algorithm. And in the same way certain sets of steps can help us open a door other set of steps can help us solve mathematical computation.

Algorithms are Applied to Math Problems

A step by step procedure is used in long division. A simple question like 73 divided by 3 would have the following algorithm:How many times does 3 go into 7? The answer is 2. How many are left over? 1. Put the 1(ten) in front of the 3. How many times does 3 go into 13? The answer is 4 with a remainder of one. And of course the answer becomes 24 with a remainder of 1. The step by step procedure used to do the long division computation is considered a long division algorithm.

Order of Operations is a Math Algorithm

BEDMAS is another useful set of steps and is also considered a formula. BEDMAS refers to an order of operations and stands for Brackets, Exponents, Division, Multiplication, Addition and Subtraction. You can learn more about math by using the following algorithm:First: Open your browser.Second: Log on to About.com .
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