An algorithm is a set of instructions for solving a problem or completing a process, often used in math. The steps in an algorithm are very precise and well-defined. If your problem is a headache, your algorithm might look like this:

1) Have you been hit on the head? If yes, seek medical attention; if no, go to the next step.
2) Have you taken a pain reliever? If no, take one now; if yes go to the next step.
3) Have you eaten today?

… and so on until it would end with either a solution or advice to seek medical attention.

Algorithms often take the form of a graph with a square for each step and arrows pointing to the possible directions from each step.

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