A process or set of rules to be followed in problem-solving or calculation operations, usually by a computer, although humans tend to follow steps algorithmically as well (let’s say doing math or following a recipe).
An algorithm is simply defined as a set of steps or actions to be followed. It can be applied in areas like problem-solving, decision-making or any process-oriented tasks in general. Everyone uses algorithms in their daily lives, most of the time without even realizing it. However, the term is most commonly used in the areas of computing, as machines generally require strict rules to follow.
In computing, algorithms need to be unambiguous and logically precise. Machines are programmed to perform tasks linearly and the logic that drives them needs to be designed as such. Good algorithms perform tasks quickly and accurately, utilizing as few resources as possible.