Held: Tuesday, 21 January 2003
Summary: We continue our introduction to Computer Science by trying to formally give instructions for an everyday problem.
The word algorithm is derived from the last name of Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn-Musa Al-Khowarizmi, a famous Persian mathematician and author of the 8th and ninth centuries. Al-Khowarizmi was a teacher at the Mathematical Institute in Baghdad and the author of the book Kitab al jabr w'al muqabala, which in English meansRules of Restoration and Reduction.It was one of the earliest mathematical textbooks, and its title gave us the world algebra (the Arabic word al jabr meansreduction).
In [C.E.] 825, Al-Khowarizmi wrote another book about the base-10 positional numbering system that had recently been developed in India. In this book, he described formalized, step-by-step procedures for doing arithmetic operations, such as addition,s ubtraction, and multiplication, on numbers represented in this new decimal system. In the twelfth century this book was translated into Latin, introducting the base-10 Hindu-Arabic numbering system to Europe, and Al-Khowarizmi's name became closely associated with these formal numerical techniques. When written in Latin characters rather than Arabic, his last name became rendered as Algorismus, and eventually the formalized procedures that he pioneered and developed became known as algorithms in his honor. (Schneider and Gersting, An Invitation to Computer Science, 2nd Edition, 1998, p. 7).
follower of instructions.
the piece of bread in your left hand.
find square rootalgorithm would take a number as input.
look up a telephone numberalgorithm might take a phone book and a name to lok for as inputs.
reasonable(we can't find the square root of a piece of bread and we can't make a PBJ sandwich with tunafish).
Thursday, 16 January 2003 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]
Tuesday, 21 January 2003 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]
I usually create these pages
on the fly, which means that I rarely
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