Algorithmics 3 & 4 – New VCE Subject

MGC will be offering students who have completed or enrolled in Maths Methods 1&2 the opportunity to choose Algorithmics 3&4 as a VCE subject in 2018. As a new subject it is probably best suited to Year 10 students looking to a 3&4 in Year 11.

Algorithmics is the study of rules, systems and processes that solve complex problems either quickly or exactly.  Examples of this are Google Page rank, how Facebook determines what items appear in your newsfeed, automated online loan applications, or even whether or not you are a citizen of a country in the absence of birthplace data. Given the rise of the Internet of Things, algorithms that can sort through your metadata will become increasingly important for government agencies and business.

To put it more simply, any form of recipe, how-to guide or set of instructions are algorithms for a specific set of circumstances. Consider a simple version of the Sorting Hat from Harry Potter:

If brave → then Gryffindor
If smart → then Ravenclaw
If hard-working → then Hufflepuff
If ambitious → then Slytherin

If more than one of the above → then look at closest relative’s house
If still in doubt → then user’s choice

IBM actually made a real life sorting hat, so maybe check out your search engine of choice if you want to see how much more detail they included in their algorithm.

This subject is not designed to turn students into coders, but into computational thinkers who can understand how to take a complex problem in real-life and apply the best problem-solving method (algorithm) to it. This is an invaluable skill to anyone no matter what field of work they are in.

For further information refer to the MGC Senior School Handbook 2018, the VCAA website (http://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/), the University of Melbourne School of Engineering (http://www.cis.unimelb.edu.au/schools/algorithmics/) or the Monash University Faculty of Information Technology (https://www.monash.edu/it/future-students/study-areas/vce-algorithmics ). You can always email Zack Pretlove at MGC for specific questions.