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What are Algorithms? Their Maths & Computing Powers

As you know, many computer geeks use the term ‘Algorithms’ all the time. But, only a handful of webmasters and users do fully understand what they really mean. How they work or even how they are applied in the real world.

Well, on that note, that’s why in this guide, I’ll try and elaborate on their meaning. And, of course, Yes! I’m sure you might have heard about them in the news too. In reality, most computer algorithms take almost the same simple, yet so smooth journey of data manipulation.

What are Algorithms?

But, the journey of data manipulation is a step-by-step solution. Not forgetting, each step has clear instructions just like a recipe. A good example is when we use algorithms for adding two-digit numbers.

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As such, it can be called for using the following methods. First, you’ll need to (1) add the tens, and then (2) add the ones. Thereafter, (3) add the numbers from steps (1) and (2) respectively. So, in this case, to add 15 and 32 using that algorithm, we can simply state the resultant values as follows.

Whereby, you’ll either (1) add 10 and 30 to get 40, and then (2) add 5 and 2 to get 7 for a total value of 47. Or rather, (3) add 40 and 7 to get a total value of 47. Not only that but the long division method is another example of an algorithm (more on that later).

And when you follow these steps you’ll get the answers. So, that said, What are algorithms?, How do they work? Why are they so important? Where are they applied? etc. Let’s get started by answering some of the questions below.

What are Algorithms?

First of all, “Algorithms” are named after the 9th-century Persian mathematician — ( Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi ). But, describing an algorithm in simple words is not as hard as we thought it was going to be.

In computer science, programming, and math, Algorithms are a sequence of instructions where the main goal is to solve a specific problem, perform a certain action, or computation. In some way, an algorithm is a very clear specification for processing data, for doing calculations, among many other tasks.

OH! A nice way to explain an algorithm is to say that whoever creates that specific algorithm is setting the rules of the game. Actually, algorithms are the things that will define how things work and react to our actions (especially in computer science).

Therefore, the person or machine who is designing them is building all the potential reactions that are going to happen when we do 1, 2, or 3. For example, let’s take Facebook into consideration so that you get a clear picture.

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In this case, Facebook decides to show you one thing or another, based on the platform’s algorithms. And this is also based on their relationship with your specific activities. Meaning that algorithms are in constant relation with other values.

According to the site WhatIs.com, an algorithm is a procedure or formula for solving a problem — based on conducting a sequence of specified actions. And on that note, a computer program can be viewed as an elaborate algorithm.

In mathematics and computer science, an algorithm usually means a small procedure that solves a recurrent problem. That’s if we can analyze everything we just mentioned, and take into consideration how transcendental 21st-century skills are for our children.

By so doing, we can conclude that understanding how algorithms work will greatly help our children strengthen their problem-solving ability. And that will drastically increase their opportunities to succeed in the workforce of tomorrow.

Algorithms Are Everywhere!— In Math & Computer Science

Eventually, when I say they’re everywhere, I definitely know that you might be getting a little bit confused. Algorithms are everywhere and are present in our lives every day, even if we don’t realize it. Ultimately, they have a bigger presence in math and computer science.

And, of course, they are not absent in your kids’ daily brain processes either. Like when they’re creating an app, designing a game, or learning how to code. In other words, recipes are a great example of an algorithm if you are looking for a way to introduce this concept to your children.

See Also: Examples of Algorithms & their Uses 

Why? Obviously, because a recipe is a list of instructions that is used to perform a specific task. For example, let’s you were to follow the algorithm to bake a vanilla cake from a box mix. As such, you’ll follow the number of steps written on the box or on the included instructions manual.

It’s also important to always remember that one of my author friends even discussed what are the similarities between coding and cooking? And now, if you’ll read through the article, you’ll realize that everything will start to make more sense.

How are Algorithms applied in Maths?

Now that you have an idea of what algorithms are, let’s consider their application in Maths. Whereby, according to ThoughtCo and author Deb Russell, an algorithm in math is simply a procedure.

Similarly, from the same definition, it can also be described as a description of the set steps that can be used to solve a mathematical computation. Let’s say you’re asked to divide 1260257 over 37 using this method. The algorithm answer would be 34061 (see sample illustration method below).

Long Division - Wikipedia

You see! As I’ve just illustrated, algorithms are used in many STEM FIELDS. But perhaps, the most common example is the step-by-step procedure used in long divisions. The process of solving a mathematical problem. Such as the one showcased above.

How to solve ‘What is 73 divided by 3’ using Algorithms

Another great example is like, “What is 73 divided by 3?”— that could be achieved by doing a similar preferred algorithm. But, in this scenario, you need to first consider a few aspects.

For instance, how many times does 3 go into 7? The answer is 2. How many are left over? And the answer is 1. Then put the 1 (ten) in front of the 3. So, by so doing,  how many times does 3 go into 13? The answer is 4 with a remainder of one.

For sure, the answer is 24 with a remainder of 1. And as can be seen, an algorithm in math is not that different from an algorithm in computer science or in app development. Now that both of them have the same definition, description, and significance.

How are Algorithms applied in Computer Science?

As I’ve mentioned before, an algorithm (also in computer science) is when you tell your computer not only what to do, but also how to do it. And, therefore, so far as I am concerned, I’ll assume that by now it is a bit clearer. So, how is it applied in computer science?

Whenever we talk about how algorithms are applied in computer science, we should be so futuristic. Just like as a teenager knows about mobile applications than even their predecessors (parents, older siblings, teachers, guardians, etc.) The same applies to the laws of ever-changing technology.

And by that I mean, the early you adopt the language of the algorithm to your youngsters, the better it will get with time! One thing for sure, young minds have great capabilities to digest things fast. Later on, they can then utilize what they learn in solving problems.

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But, the main goal is to get the job done and an algorithm is a basic technique used to make sure this happens. And a good case scenario is by nurturing our kids within the niche of the 21st-century. Bearing in mind, such skills are extremely important to assure their future success.

In our previous articles, we discussed in detail creativity, teamwork, and even gone into depth with problem-solving. Therefore, by the same token, I don’t want you to forget about algorithmic thinking.

For one thing, strengthening this skill will enable your children to fully comprehend what algorithms mean. Aa well as how they can use this way of thinking in their everyday life. By developing their algorithmic thinking, they’ll value the importance of the process.

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Not only of the result itself, but they will understand how important each step is. Particularly, when designing, creating, and developing their very own projects in life. And this goes way beyond your kids comprehending what a standard algorithm is.

It’s also not like giving them mathematical examples of algorithms for kids. This is actually about the value of truly applying how algorithms work. In order to be competent enough as they try to build their career goals successfully.

Do your kids really understand the value of algorithms?

The first thing is to investigate whether they do love computers. And in this case, if they’ll show some interest, coding can greatly help sharpen their skills and talents! After all, when your kids learn how to code, they will be gaining valuable 21st-century skills.

Not only that but skills that’ll enable them to interact with surroundings so well. May it be their society, the world, and the workforce of the future from an advantageous place. Furthermore, learning how to code can be fun and engaging.

As of today, you can consider enrolling your children in various institutions — like the coding courses offered by Tekkie University. And by so doing, they’ll be one step away from creating their very own app or even designing their very own YouTube content.

Additionally, this can also greatly enlighten them to start developing their own games from scratch. And all of this, while strengthening their algorithmic thinking ability. Having said that, are you ready to give your kids the most useful gift of their lives?

I may not answer that for you now, but all in all, in nutshell, you too can go ahead and give your kids the present of coding, today. It’s so important to make sure that they are ready for the future. Besides Tekkie, you can enroll on their behalf to Code with Google (explore programs) as well.

What does the Code with Google offer?

According to Code with Google, every student deserves the chance to explore, advance, and succeed in computer science. More than 65% of young people will work in jobs that don’t currently exist. Learning computer science skills helps students thrive in a rapidly changing world.

Yet, research by Gallup shows that many students aren’t getting the Computer Science (CS) education they need. And that teachers don’t have sufficient resources to provide it. In such cases, Code with Google greatly helps to ensure that every student has access to unlimited computing resources.

From the collaborative, coding, and technical skills that unlock opportunities in the classroom and beyond – no matter what their future goals may be. In simple terms, what you can do with Code with Google is quite amazing as a student.

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For example, it helps educators give their students confidence in CS, advance their skills, and prepare them for the future. While keeping in mind, computer science opens up possibilities for every student. In the first place, there’s CS that’s a free computer science curriculum that anyone can teach.

It’s designed for students ages 9-14 of all interests and experience levels, students learn collaboration and core computer science concepts as they create their own projects. Educators lead the way with easy-to-use lesson plans, tutorials, activities, and resources.

According to Mildred Johnson, from North Salisbury Elementary School, “The step-by-step videos allow all students to experience success. Also, teachers don’t need to be proficient in coding to start using the platform.”

How to Explore Code with Google Programs

There are numerous ways to Explore Code with Google Programs — one of them is the Grasshopper Program. Whereby, you can easily Learn JavaScript With Grasshopper with very simple illustrations.

The Grasshopper App is a beginner coding application platform for any student. Perse, with this app, complete beginners can easily learn coding fundamentals for free. And in as little as 5 minutes a day, students can easily complete fun lessons. As they visual puzzles on their phone to build their coding skills.

According to Ismael, one of the many Grasshopper users, “Grasshopper showed me that no matter what, or who, or how I look, anyone can learn how to code. It opens up a whole new world for me.” You can learn more in detail.

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In addition to that, you or even your learner can nurture their passions in technology too. Whereby, there’s a three-week Computer Science Summer Intensive (CSSI) introduction to computer science (CS). Especially for graduating high school seniors seeking to inspire the innovators of tomorrow.

As well as those from historically underrepresented groups in the field. It’s an intensive, interactive, hands-on, and fun program to dig in. Not to mention, it supports the study of CS, software engineering, and other closely-related subjects. You can learn more about it and how to join.

Final Thoughts,

In reality, as a subject, math can be a nightmare for any kid who is not really prepared. Especially, to realize that understanding it can be much easier than they thought. When in school, you’ll often suffer along with your kids trying to understand a new formula and what is an algorithm.

The key to reducing the amount of stress in your children (at least in these fields) is to show them some love. And there’re so many cool, exciting, engaging, and gamified methodologies that make it easy to understand algorithms for kids.

But, how do you teach your children what an algorithm means if you don’t know yourself? Well, the main intention of this article was to help you do just that. Another interesting thing to try is to remove the algorithm concept from the world of math.

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And then move it into a field that is more appealing to your children. For example, let’s say your kids are learning how to create the very first app. By so doing, they’ll deeply understand what is an algorithm in coding. Or when they are learning the basics of the Scratch programming language.

By so doing, they will naturally comprehend what is an algorithm in programming. Also, in the same way, their interest will be more genuine and effective. And then finally, believe it or not, coding can greatly improve your kids’ math skills in so many ways.

But, what is your understanding of an algorithm? How would you define this word? And, how can you apply algorithms in your everyday life? Please, feel free to share your additional thoughts and questions in our comments section or even Contact Us for more help.

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