algorithm

In mathematics and computer science, an algorithm is a self-contained step-by-step set of operations to be performed. Algorithms perform calculation, data processing, and/or automated reasoning tasks.The English word ‘algorithm’ comes from Medieval Latin word algorism and the Greek word “arithmos” (ἀριθμός). The word ‘algorism’ (and therefore, the derived word ‘algorithm’) comes from Al-Khwārizmī (Persian: خوارزمی‎‎, c. 780–850), a Persian mathematician, astronomer, geographer, and scholar. English adopted the French term, but it wasn’t until the late 19th century that “algorithm” took on the meaning that it has in modern English. In English, it was first used about 1230 and then by Chaucer in 1391. Another early use of the word is from 1240, in a manual titled Carmen de Algorismo composed by Alexandre de Villedieu. It begins thus: Haec algorismus ars praesens dicitur, in qua / Talibus Indorum fruimur bis quinque figuris. which translates as: Algorism is the art by which at present we use those Indian figures, which number two times five.