Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE

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Algorithm
(337 words)

Algorithm, as the word is used today, can be summarised as a computable set of steps to achieve a desired result.

1. Genesis of the name

The word “algorithm” was formed in several stages from the nisba of Muḥammad b. Mūsā al-Khwārazmī (d. c.232/847), the author of a text on Indian arithmetic that was translated into Latin in the early sixth/twelfth century. Starting as a personal name, the word became a synonym for Indian arithmetic—that is, positional de…

Cite this page
Brentjes, Sonja, “Algorithm”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson. Consulted online on 19 January 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_ei3_COM_0154>
First published online: 2007
First print edition: 9789004161634, 2007, 2007-2



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