Calculation

A calculation is a deliberate process for transforming one or more inputs into one or more results, with variable change.

The term is used in a variety of senses, from the very definite arithmetical calculation using an algorithm to the vague heuristics of calculating a strategy in a competition or calculating the chance of a successful relationship between two people.

Multiplying 7 by 8 is a simple algorithmic calculation.

Estimating the fair price for financial instruments using the Black-Scholes model is a complex algorithmic calculation.

Statistical estimations of the likely election results from opinion polls also involve algorithmic calculations, but give results that are ranges of possibilities rather than exact answers.

Deciding the best way to build a relationship with a member of the opposite sex may also result from a calculation, but is not definite, predictable, nor even clearly defined. This indefinite application of the term gives it a second area of meaning apart from the mathematical senses mentioned above.

To "calculate" means to ascertain by computing. The English word derives from the Latin "calculus", which originally meant a small stone in the gall-bladder (from Latin "calx"). It also meant a pebble used for calculating, or a small stone used as a counter in an abacus (Latin "abacus", Greek "abax"). The abacus was an instrument used by Greeks and Romans for arithmetic calculations, preceding the slide-rule and the electronic calculator, and consisted of perforated pebbles sliding on an iron bars.

See also


* Abacus
* Calculator
* Calculus (disambiguation)
* Calculability
* Computation
* Cost accounting
* List of algorithms
* Mathematics
* Mental calculation
*

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  • Calculation — Cal cu*la tion ( l[=a] sh[u^]n), n. [OE. calculation, fr. L. calculatio; cf. OF. calcucation.] 1. The act or process, or the result, of calculating; computation; reckoning, estimate. The calculation of eclipses. Nichol. [1913 Webster] The… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • calculation — UK US /ˌkælkjəˈleɪʃən/ noun [C or U] ► the process of finding an amount or number using mathematics: »A calculation of their tax liability will be made from their account books. ► an opinion that you form about something, or the process of… …   Financial and business terms

  • calculation — [n1] computing, estimating amount adding, arithmetic, ciphering, computation, counting, dividing, estimate, estimation, figuring, forecast, judgment, multiplying, prediction, reckoning, subtracting, summation, totaling; concepts 28,764… …   New thesaurus

  • calculation — index appraisal, assessment (estimation), census, computation, contemplation, deduction (conclusion) …   Law dictionary

  • calculation — late 14c., from L.L. calculationem (nom. calculatio), noun of action from pp. stem of calculare to reckon, compute, from L. calculus reckoning, account, originally pebble used in counting, dim. of calx (gen. calcis) limestone (see CHALK (Cf.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • calculation — circumspection, caution, wariness, chariness (see under CAUTIOUS) Analogous words: *prudence, forethought, foresight, providence, discretion: *care, concern, solicitude: astuteness, perspicacity, sagacity, shrewdness (see corresponding adjectives …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • calculation — ► NOUN 1) a mathematical determination of quantity or extent. 2) an assessment of the risks or effects of a course of action …   English terms dictionary

  • calculation — [kal΄kyo͞o lā′shən, kal΄kyəlā′shən] n. 1. the act or process of calculating 2. something deduced by calculating; estimate; plan 3. careful planning or forethought, esp. with selfish motives calculative [kal΄kyo͞o lāt′iv, kal΄kyəlāt΄iv] adj …   English World dictionary

  • calculation — noun 1 act of calculating/sum calculated ADJECTIVE ▪ accurate, correct, exact, precise ▪ an exact calculation of the amount spent so far ▪ Your calculations are correct. ▪ …   Collocations dictionary

  • calculation — [[t]kæ̱lkjʊle͟ɪʃ(ə)n[/t]] calculations 1) N VAR: oft N of n A calculation is something that you think about and work out mathematically. Calculation is the process of working something out mathematically. Leonard made a rapid calculation: he d… …   English dictionary


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