Data and processes in computing
Data and processes in computing

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Data and processes in computing

5 Operations and comparisons

Seeing processes as functions

Addition of numbers is a process that one would expect a computer to be able to perform. Now we write the result of adding the numbers 5 and 2 as 5 + 2, for example. The symbol +, which represents the process of addition, appears between the two numbers being added. This is known as infix notation. Infix notation may be used for processes that combine two data items of the same type. Addition, subtraction and multiplication of numbers are familiar examples. We also use infix notation when writing a comparison of the size of two numbers, such as 5 < 9.

In this section, we shall show that a process such as addition of numbers is a function. Perhaps more surprisingly, a process such as < can also be seen as a function. This perception is a necessary preliminary to seeing how such a process can be implemented by a computer.

M263_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371