When the term algorithm is used in math, it typically refers to a set of steps used to solve a mathematical computation. A step by step procedure is used in long division. A simple question like 73 divided by 3 would have the following algorithm:
How many times does 3 go into 7?
The answer is 2
How many are left over? 1
Put the 1(ten) in front of the 3.
How many times does 3 go into 13?
The answer is 4 with a remainder of one.
And of course the anser becomes 24 with a remainder of 1.
The step by step procedure used to do the long division computation is considered a long division algorithm.
FOIL is another example of an algorithm used in algebra. The steps in FOIL are: First outside, inside last. This algorithm is useful for multiplying polynomials. BEDMAS is another useful set of steps and is also considered a formula. BEDMAS: Brackets, Exponents, Division, Multiplication, Addition and Subtraction. This refers to an order of operations.