ATAR Notes: Forum

VCE Stuff => VCE Technology => VCE Mathematics/Science/Technology => VCE => VCE Algorithmics => Topic started by: Kindergarten on August 05, 2015, 06:07:01 pm

Title: How did people find unit 3?
Post by: Kindergarten on August 05, 2015, 06:07:01 pm
Hi, I am a current year 11 student who is going to be taking Algorithmics next year and was wondering how current students found unit 3? is it really harder than specialist some people suggest and what exactly are the parts you find most difficult?
Title: Re: How did people find unit 3?
Post by: silverpixeli on August 05, 2015, 07:23:04 pm
Hi, I am a current year 11 student who is going to be taking Algorithmics next year and was wondering how current students found unit 3? is it really harder than specialist some people suggest and what exactly are the parts you find most difficult?

I didn't do algorithmics but I've done a lot of the stuff in unit 3 at uni (and most of unit 4 too), and I'd say just on a brief look through the study design, the algorithms (particularly floyd's algorithm I think) are probably the most conceptually difficult ideas in the unit.

However all of the stuff in there can be made really clear with a good visualisation, and there are PLENTY of nice resources freely available for that (I like visu-algo which covers some of it) so you won't be alone in your quest for understanding these algorithms and the rest of the course!
Title: Re: How did people find unit 3?
Post by: Kindergarten on August 07, 2015, 06:31:22 pm
I didn't do algorithmics but I've done a lot of the stuff in unit 3 at uni (and most of unit 4 too), and I'd say just on a brief look through the study design, the algorithms (particularly floyd's algorithm I think) are probably the most conceptually difficult ideas in the unit.

However all of the stuff in there can be made really clear with a good visualisation, and there are PLENTY of nice resources freely available for that (I like visu-algo which covers some of it) so you won't be alone in your quest for understanding these algorithms and the rest of the course!
That all really great to hear,

What would you say is the hardest part of algorithmics the actual conceptualisation of theories or answering questions and do you find it enjoyable?
Title: Re: How did people find unit 3?
Post by: silverpixeli on August 08, 2015, 12:05:11 am
That all really great to hear,

What would you say is the hardest part of algorithmics the actual conceptualisation of theories or answering questions and do you find it enjoyable?

Having looked through the sample exam available on the VCAA website, most the marks seem to be related to knowing your definitions and course content and all the facts associated with the course (conceptually easy, but a pain to learn in isolation and potentially tricky to write exactly what the examiners want) and then some (a third or so? didn't count) are 'problems' that you have to solve.

For the former, you need to know the course and all the topics from the study design and how they all relate, and you need to be able to recall this info in the exam and write it succinctly and correctly for full marks. None of the topics are too difficult if you have a good idea of all the definitions that relate to them.


The problem solving questions are harder, but immensely more fun.

I see algorithmics problems as like puzzles, and I need to find a clever way to tackle the puzzle that will always work no matter where the pieces are at the start of the puzzle. This is what I find most enjoyable, along with watching and understanding how so many other computer scientists have come up with clever solutions in the past. Though because these solutions can be very complicated, this forms the more difficult part of the course conceptually.


Haha I'm not sure if I really answered your question in the end :P sorry
Title: Re: How did people find unit 3?
Post by: Aaron on August 08, 2015, 12:39:56 am
Judging by your signature, you seem to have a keen interest in IT. I would say ignore the supposed "difficulty" that people are referring to and do it if you want to genuinely take the time to learn some really cool stuff.
Title: Re: How did people find unit 3?
Post by: GeniDoi on September 01, 2015, 12:18:15 pm
I'm doing it at the moment. Unit three is pretty manageable. It starts with ADTs/graph theory and really simple algorithms like prim's but quickly gets challenging, you need to be paying full attention for ones like Bellerman-Ford and Floyd-warshall.  The folio tasks at our school were pretty fun to do, which we did everything from making a graph of movie characters as our first one (I did mine on inglorious basterds, for example) to creating a social network graph and applying our own algorithm to it - which we needed to make.

Unit 3 is important preparation for unit 4, which I personally think is much harder, because your assessment tasks become much more like SACs. It is a lot more math heavy and sometimes difficult to grasp your head around because the content is presented to you to analyse, rather than having to create it.

I'm interested to see how the scaling goes, it's definitely a challenging subject and made especially hard from the lack of VCE-tailored resources. You find that googling a lot of key concepts leads to complicated wiki pages with lots of information outside the course, mainly because the course itself skims over a lot of topics, only diving into them on a somewhat shallow level. Still, I found loads of resources on youtube that helped me grasp concepts well, as well as the alexandria repository.

I think that with us human guinea pigs going through it the first time, there should be a lot more notes and resources by next year and I'm sure the subjects popularity will grow because of that.
Title: Re: How did people find unit 3?
Post by: A1244 on September 02, 2015, 05:17:09 pm
Has anyone completed loop invariants yet?
Title: Re: How did people find unit 3?
Post by: GeniDoi on September 03, 2015, 09:15:40 am
Has anyone completed loop invariants yet?

We did it several months ago. Currently nearing the end of the course on artificial intelligence and we finished off concepts like chinese room/halting problem last week.