Shamia Campbell 750-Word Expanded Definition of Interest of Things


The purpose of the 750-1000 Word Expanded Definition is to explore the definition of the term “Algorithm” which is a set of rules followed in a problem solving operation. I will be defining the term “Algorithm” which is a list of rules and you can use data structures. In the project, I will introduce Algorithms with different defining quotations from confirmed sources and I will be able to explain and compare those definitions from the authors I found. Next, I will discuss the context of the word Algorithm for the sources I have. Finally, I will be giving details on my own definitions of Algorithm after the quotes I provided.


According to the McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, an algorithm is, “A well-defined procedure to solve a problem. The study of algorithms is a fundamental area of computer science. In writing a computer program to solve a problem, a programmer expresses in a computer language an algorithm that solves the problem, thereby turning the algorithm into a computer program” (Algorithm, 2005, p.76). Essentially, an algorithm is a set of steps that can be followed to accomplish a task. The author tries to explain that Algorithms have a programmer that gives problems to solve. However, he is explaining how computer science people use algorithms in many different ways and when it comes to problem solving the computer language will perform in people minds. These definitions are related to the other because they all have to do with problem solving and unique this programmer is. “An algorithm is any well-defined procedure for solving a given class of problems. Ideally, when applied to a particular problem in that class, the algorithm would yield a full solution. Nonetheless, it makes sense to speak of algorithms that yield only partial solutions or yield solutions only some of the time. Such algorithms are sometimes called “rules of thumb” or “heuristics” (DEMBSKI, 2003, p.7).  Comparing the two definitions, these authors are mentioning well-defined procedure and its solving problems to get solutions. One author example is something different than the other author had mentioned in the second definition.


In the Article “Security in the Information Age” by Craig Howard “Ciphers change the position or value of each individual character in the message. Ciphers are much easier to use than codes, which require large code books listing every word or group of words that will be used. A cipher, on the other hand, requires only a mathematical formula, called an algorithm, that can often be easily memorized. The message to be encrypted is called plaintext, the message after it is encrypted is called ciphertext” (Howard, 1995, p.33). The term algorithm is used in this quote to describe what a cipher is. The author equates an algorithm with a mathematical formula like a set of instructions, a mathematical formula tells us how to solve a problem. In the newspaper “Private Numbers” posted by  Ben Klemens explains how the new economy has appeared in mathematics which has to do with computer science. “The reader has no doubt been exposed to more than enough rhetoric about the fact that we live in an information age and our economic progress depends on the efficient movement and processing of information — and efficient information usage depends on better mathematical algorithms” (Klemens, 2006). The world depends on movements like matemcial because it is a way to understand the problem solving in the world. Algorithms play a big role in the world and if there wasn’t such a thing about it then it wouldn’t be a problem to solve. In the Article “Algorithm” written by Lee lerner is explaining how accomplish is algorithms and how far it can take you. “An algorithm is a set of instructions for accomplishing a task that can be couched in mathematical terms. If followed correctly, an algorithm guarantees successful completion of the task. The term algorithm is derived from the name al-Khowarizmi, a ninth-century Arabian mathematician credited with discovering algebra. With the advent of computers, which are particularly adept at utilizing algorithms, the creation of new and faster algorithms has become an important field in the study of computer science” (Lerner, 2014, p.131).  Algorithms are a success and it is from the 19th century which was years ago. That’s how you know that Algorithms are a great use.It should always be around for everyone uses it in the math field.  

Working Definition

The discussions above, I think Algorithms is the most important list of steps for solving problems. Algorithms are very important in my career field because I will be coming across  a lot of math when having to deal with computer programming and the math that I will have to solve so I can get a solution to what I’m trying to solve. Algorithms will be used years and years from now and it will never not be important. 


Algorithm. (2005). In McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, 5th ed., McGraw-Hill Professional, 2005, p. 76. Gale eBooks,

Algorithm. (2003). In Encyclopedia of Science and Religion, edited by J. Wentzel Vrede van Huyssteen, vol. 1, Macmillan Reference USA, 2003, pp. 7-8. Gale eBooks,

Klemens, B. (2006). Private Numbers.

Algorithm. (2014). In The Gale Encyclope dia of Science, edited by K. Lee Lerner and Brenda Wilmoth Lerner, 5th ed., vol. 1, Gale, 2014, p. 131. Gale eBooks,

Leave a Reply