A parameter is a specific type of variable used in various fields like mathematics, statistics, and computer science, with different but related meanings.

In mathematics, a parameter is typically a quantity that influences the output of a function or system but remains constant within specific scenarios. For example, in the equation of a line , and are parameters that determine the slope and -intercept of the line, respectively.

In statistics, parameters are values that represent the characteristics of an entire population. For instance, the mean and standard deviation are parameters that can describe the distribution of a population.

In computer science, particularly in programming, parameters are values that are passed into a function or method. When a function is called, the parameters are the input data it works with to produce a result. For example, in a function that adds two numbers, the numbers to be added are parameters.

Despite the differences in context, the common thread among these uses of “parameter” is that they refer to quantities or pieces of data that somehow serve to define or constrain a system, function, or dataset.

Related Terms


A variable is a core concept in algebra where a symbol, usualy a lower case latin letter, is used as a placeholder in a math expression.