Algorithmics (HESS) Unit 3 and 4


Algorithmics (*HESS) is a subject that provides a conceptual framework for structured problem solving in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and in other disciplines that involve formal reasoning. The course has been developed in conjunction with VCAA and Monash and Melbourne Universities.

This course fully contributes to ATAR scores as well as providing credit for first semester university studies in Computer Science at Monash University, the University of Melbourne and, at other universities on request.

(*Higher Education Scored Study)

Who is it for?

This subject is for students who enjoy the challenge of solving problems and puzzles involving logic, reasoning and imagination. Students learn how to think about problems in an abstract way and explore the different ways solutions can be found.

This subject imparts thinking skills that can be used in any field of study that interacts with digital technology. In particular, it is ideal for students who are interested in studying Mathematics, Computer Science or Software Engineering at a tertiary level.

What do you do?

Activities and challenges include:

  • representing information and analysing the possible relationships that exist, for example within a social network
  • learning about algorithms that are used in our society within the popular Google and Facebook interfaces
  • writing algorithms to solve various problems and puzzles such as Sudoku
  • exploring if Artificial Intelligence is possible.

What skills do you need?

You need to be an organised and independent learner who can stay on track in a disciplined way when studying via distance. Good thinking and analysis skills are needed to meet all the challenges in this course which is at first year University level.

A satisfactory completion of Year 11 Math Methods is a prerequisite.

Some knowledge of basic programming will be useful but it is not essential.

What skills do you develop?

This subject expands your high order thinking skills so that you can look at a real-world problem in an analytical way and be able to create an abstract model of the problem.

You will learn how to construct and implement algorithms in the Edgy programming language. You will learn how evaluate the efficiency and correctness of those solutions in solving the problem.




A satisfactory completion of Units 1 and 2 Math Methods is required to be able to understand the Mathematics within the course.

You must have good access to the internet in order to complete the required work in this course. All weekly work will be completed and submitted online.

Things to think about

Students require good literacy and numeracy skills to complete the required reading and assessments for this course. The course requires around six hours per week which is similar to the time commitment required by other Units 3 and 4 VCE subjects.

The online course is well developed and is rich in study materials which include theory documents, worked examples, interactives, exercises, online quizzes and video tutorials.

Things you can do now

You can explore the Edgy environment that is used for all the programming in the course and see for yourself how real-world problems can be turned into models of networked information.
The Snap Apps website features online tutorial resources from Melbourne University.

As preparation for starting the course in 2018 you need to complete the Edgy tutorials from 1.1 to 1.8 as outlined here.

You can find out about pathways into university via the study of Algorithmics (HESS):

Go to the VCAA website for more information about this subject.





Things to have a look at

What is an Algorithm?

An algorithm is a mathematical method of solving big and small problems.

Fast and slow Algorithms

What’s the fastest way to alphabetise your bookshelf?

Can Artificial Intelligence exist?

Can a computer pass for a human?