# 1.2. Algorithms¶

If problem solving is a central part of computer science, then the solutions that you create through the problem solving process are also important. In computer science, we refer to these solutions as algorithms. An algorithm is a step by step list of instructions that if followed exactly will solve the problem under consideration.

Our goal in computer science is to take a problem and develop an algorithm that can serve as a general solution. Once we have such a solution, we can use our computer to automate the execution. As noted above, programming is a skill that allows a computer scientist to take an algorithm and represent it in a notation (a program) that can be followed by a computer. These programs are written in programming languages.