ALGORITHMS IN MATH

Algorithms have provided procedures for solving mathematical problems since ancient times. One of the earliest algorithms is the Euclidean algorithm from The Elements (3rd century B.C.). Euclid’s algorithm was designed to find the greatest common divisor of two numbers. Any equation that requires multiple steps is by design algorithmic. In this sense algorithms and math are interrelated. Many examples of algorithms can be found in number theory for finding divisibility, primality, and factorization thanks in part to Euclid’s work. These algorithms are used to identify a number as prime or composite. There are other algorithms such as the Gauss-Legendre algorithm, which computes digits of Pi. Please see the Resources page of this site for a more thorough investigation of algorithms and math.

Source:

Chabert, Jean-Luc, et al. A History of Algorithms. New York: Springer Verlag, 1999.


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