Summary: This paper provides a historical account of the development of algorithmic complexity in a form that is suitable to instructors of mathematics at the high school or undergraduate level. The study of algorithmic complexity, despite being deeply rooted in mathematics, is usually restricted to the computer science curriculum. By providing a historical account of algorithmic complexity through a mathematical lens, this paper aims to equip mathematics educators with the necessary background and framework for incorporating the analysis of algorithmic complexity into mathematics courses as early on as algebra or pre-calculus.