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6 Sep

What are Algorithms?

Folio1 Startup News

If you're alive and have been wandering the world for some time, there is no way that you have never heard the term "algorithm" thrown around. However, whether you fully understand the depth of that term is the question. If you maybe aren't as technically minded as the rest of us, read on.

Algorithms?

The world is quickly becoming more and more reliant on code, programs that take everything tedious in life and complete assignments in an instant. When you go and break down blocks of code in programs, you get the smaller parts that make up the hole. You can see how everything fits together and how one piece connects to another which connects to another and activates another, programs and complicated webs of logic. The threads that make up that web are the algorithms that compile data and do something with it.

In the programming world, they're commonly called "functions", which you might have learned in algebra are simple equations that take in data and perform a templated computation to arrive at an answer using one or more variables. Of course, looking at something like C=3/A^6 is pretty basic in the bigger picture, most algorithms in programs are more complex and with a clearer meaning, however, a large portion of them can be just as basic as that equation. The purpose of all algorithms is to arrive at a solution, whether that is a value or a much more complex action.

What do they do?

You have your more practical purposes like functions that take in names and numbers and file them alphabetically into a spreadsheet, have another function that sorts those names by age, and maybe a few more algorithms manning the login menu checking for authentication. And then you have crazier algorithms like an AI in a video game that analyzes the current state of the environment and acts upon a set list of actions for each situation, or a 2-dimensional physics library which takes the mass and shape of an object into account before deciding how fast it should fall down the screen.

To break it down as simply as possible, algorithms are a list of instructions that computers read and execute. Algorithms take data and do something with it, analyze it, sort it, make new data, combine it with old data, the possibilities are vast. They can be as simple as a math equation, or they can make mass computations for real-time display. The choice is up to you.

If you're looking for more information on algorithms or anything else programming-wise, contact our team today.

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