Skip to main content
Engineering LibreTexts

4.G: Functions (Glossary)

algorithm
A general process for solving a category of problems.
argument
A value provided to a function when the function is called. This value is assigned to the corresponding parameter in the function.
body
The sequence of statements inside a function definition.
composition
Using an expression as part of a larger expression, or a statement as part of a larger statement.
deterministic
Pertaining to a program that does the same thing each time it runs, given the same inputs.
dot notation
The syntax for calling a function in another module by specifying the module name followed by a dot (period) and the function name.
flow of execution
The order in which statements are executed during a program run.
fruitful function
A function that returns a value.
function
A named sequence of statements that performs some useful operation. Functions may or may not take arguments and may or may not produce a result.
function call
A statement that executes a function. It consists of the function name followed by an argument list.
function definition
A statement that creates a new function, specifying its name, parameters, and the statements it executes.
function object
A value created by a function definition. The name of the function is a variable that refers to a function object.
header
The first line of a function definition.
import statement
A statement that reads a module file and creates a module object.
module object
A value created by an import statement that provides access to the data and code defined in a module.
parameter
A name used inside a function to refer to the value passed as an argument.
pseudorandom
Pertaining to a sequence of numbers that appear to be random, but are generated by a deterministic program.
return value
The result of a function. If a function call is used as an expression, the return value is the value of the expression.
void function
A function that does not return a value.