# Huzaifa Anas’s Word Expanded Definition of Algorithm

Huzaifa Anas Expanded Definition of Algorithm

TO: Prof. Jason Ellis

FROM: Huzaifa Anas

DATE: 10/2015/2019

SUBJECT: Expanded Definition of Algorithm

## Introduction

Algorithms play a pivotal role in computer science and this paper by examining the etymology, definition, context, a working definition will be formed through analysis of different sources like dictionaries, journals, newspaper articles, and encyclopedias, blogs, and social media. Multiple sources are used because they all cater to different audiences. We first focus on the modern definition and its etymology to provide a basis to understand the term and then look at how the term is used practically for a holistic understanding of the term and finally attempt to formulate a definition based on these two factors to make a definition which works for Computer Science (CS).

## Definitions

The word algorithm originates as a homage to the famous al-Khwarizmi, who was a famous polymath remembered for his pioneering Algebra. The word algorithm was algorism in Middle English, which traces its roots to French words algorithme â€ś meaning “Arabic system of computation,” originating (under mistaken connection with Greek arithmos “number”) from Old French algorisme meaning “the Arabic numeral system “(etymoline.com). The progenitor of these was algorismus which was an archaic Latin translation of al-Khwarizmi. Eventually, during the mid 20th century, the word expanded to any method of computation.

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) defines algorithms for Mathematics and Computing as â€śA procedure or set of rules used in calculation and problem-solving; (in later use spec.) a precisely defined set of mathematical or logical operations for the performance of a particular taskâ€ť, and this concept is basically translated over to psychological use of the term (algorithm n.2 & 3., 2019). While looking at the OEDâ€™s historical definitions we see the definition limited to mathematical theorems, but then expanding. Overall the idea remained mostly static of having a systematic method to tackle some issues. Britannica also similarly defines an algorithm as a â€śsystematic procedure that producesâ€”in a finite number of stepsâ€”the answer to a question or the solution of a problemâ€ť (algorithm, 2019). The Gale Encyclopedia of Science defines it slightly differently as â€śa set of instructions for accomplishing a task that can be couched in mathematical terms. If followed correctly, an algorithm guarantees successful completion of the taskâ€ť(Algorithm, 2014). Overall in these definitions, we see the trend of having a specific modus operandi to solve specific problems. The only real difference is the scope of this concept being applied from like computer science (CS), CS & math, or this concept in general.

## Working Definition

Algorithms now have become dynamic nature, possibly inconsistent, adaptable, and more independent through the Ai in computer science they should be defined as a set of instructions or guidelines, that may self regulate, which can be used to attempt to solve specific or group of problems with a large degree of success.

## References

A Genetic Algorithm to Pilot Pod Racers. (2018, August 16). Retrieved October 14, 2019, from https://www.codingame.com/blog/genetic-algorithms-coders-strike-back-game/.

algorithm (n.). (n.d.). Retrieved October 15, 2019, from https://www.etymonline.com/word/algorithm.

Algorithm. (2014). In K. L. Lerner & B. W. Lerner (Eds.), The Gale Encyclopedia of Science (5th ed., Vol. 1, p. 131). Farmington Hills, MI: Gale. Retrieved from https://link-gale-com.citytech.ezproxy.cuny.edu/apps/doc/CX3727800076/GVRL?u=cuny_nytc&sid=GVRL&xid=7b6e67ce (This one wonâ€™t work without the citytech.ezproxy.cuny.edu part)

Angwin, J. (2016, August 1). Make Algorithms Accountable. Retrieved October 14, 2019, from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/01/opinion/make-algorithms-accountable.html?searchResultPosition=3.

Hutson, M. (2018). Artificial intelligence faces reproducibility crisis. Science (New York, N.Y.), 359(6377), 725-726. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/359/6377/725

Shams, A. (2017, November 27). Facebook post by Alex Shams on the gender bias of google translates algorithm for Turkish to English. Retrieved October 15, 2019, from https://www.facebook.com/alexrezashams/posts/10105798694396775.

Silver, D. davidsilver@google. co., Hubert, T., Schrittwieser, J., Antonoglou, I., Lai, M., Guez, A., â€¦ Hassabis, D. dhcontact@google. co. (2018). A general reinforcement learning algorithm that masters chess, shogi, and Go through self-play. Science, 362(6419), 1140â€“1144. https://doi-org/10.1126/science.aar6404