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

intro21: An algorithm is:
 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.