What is an algorithm?

An algorithm is a set of rules for solving a math problem which, if done properly, will give a correct answer each time. Algorithms generally involve repeating a series of steps over and over as in the borrowing and carrying algorithms and in the long multiplication and division algorithms.

The Everyday Mathematics program includes a variety of suggested algorithms for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Current research indicates a number of good reasons for this — primarily, that students learn more about numbers, operations, and place value when they explore math using different methods.

An algorithm is a set of rules for solving a math problem which, if done properly, will give a correct answer each time. Algorithms generally involve repeating a series of steps over and over as in the borrowing and carrying algorithms and in the long multiplication and division algorithms.

The Everyday Mathematics program includes a variety of suggested algorithms for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Current research indicates a number of good reasons for this — primarily, that students learn more about numbers, operations, and place value when they explore math using different methods.

Special thanks go to Penny Williams and the Anchorage, Alaska School District for the use of her material on this site.