# 1.2. AlgorithmsΒΆ

An **algorithm** is a step by step list of instructions that if followed exactly will solve the problem under consideration.

Our goal in programming is to take a problem and develop an algorithm that can
serve as a general solution. Once we have such a solution, we can express
it as a program and use our computer to automate the execution.
These programs are written in **programming languages**.

**Check your understanding**

- A solution to a problem that can be solved by a computer.
- While it is true that algorithms often do solve problems, this is not the best answer. An algorithm is more than just the solution to the problem for a computer. An algorithm can be used to solve all sorts of problems, including those that have nothing to do with computers.
- A step by step sequence of instructions that if followed exactly will solve the problem under consideration.
- Algorithms are like recipes: they must be followed exactly, they must be clear and unambiguous, and they must end.
- A series of instructions implemented in a programming language.
- Programming languages are used to express algorithms, but an algorithm does not have to be expressed in terms of a programming language.
- A special kind of notation used by programmers.
- Programmers sometimes use a special notation to illustrate or document an algorithm, but this is not the definition of an algorithm.

intro-2-1: An algorithm is:

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