Even if you’ve never heard the word “algorithm,” you’ve certainly been exposed to them – different algorithms have been in use for thousands of years and are now integral to some of the most critical parts of our lives, including computer operating systems, internet and communications, search engines and GPS location, and a great deal of military technology. This infographic takes a look at the history of algorithms, from the Greek mathematician Euclid’s way of determining the greatest common factor of two numbers all the way up to Google’s PageRank, the key astounding search engine algorithm and beyond.

Even the earliest operating systems, including the Babylonian abacus and the Inca Quipu, relied on fairly complex algorithms. These days, things like Windows 8 and Mac OSX would not be able to exist without algorithms, which provide the “glue” between the digital world and the user trying to access it. Algorithms are also what enables Google to crawl the more than 150,000,000 sites on the web to help bring up exactly what you’re searching for when you search. Google’s algorithm began in 1998 with Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s PageRank (named after Page), with 26 million indexed pages, and has now increased to over 1 trillion pages, all ranked according to over 200 factors.

With their algorithm, Google completely revolutionized the media world. How have algorithms affected your life? Check out the infographic below presented by CollegeDegreeSearch for more fun facts and be sure to leave a comment!

algorithms