Origins is a monthly column, where we will be talking about the history of various innovative technologies that we take for granted today.
By definition, an algorithm is a pre-defined, self-contained set of instructions required to execute diverse functions. Such rules date back to as far as 300 BC, found inscribed on Babylonian clay tablets. The very basic algorithms were marking schemes that the ancient folks used to keep track of their grain stock and cattle. This was followed by the advent of the numeric system, and a subsequent evolution of abacus, algebra and variables followed, giving rise to symbols and rules involved in formulating evaluation systems.