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14.02 Branching


Are you ready?

Do you know what type of activities are able to be described using an algorithm?


Example 1

Choose all the tasks below that can be completed by following an algorithm.

Falling asleep
Falling in love
Cooking a meal from a recipe book
Building a toy out of lego
Worked Solution
Create a strategy

Choose the tasks that need step-by-step instructions.

Apply the idea

We can cook a meal by following the step-by-step instructions from a recipe book.

We can also build a toy out of lego by following the step-by-step instructions from a manual.

The answers are options C and D.

Idea summary

We can follow an algorithm to complete tasks step by step.


This video shows how flow charts can be used to represent algorithms, and also introduces the idea of branching.

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Example 2

Follow the algorithm below:

  • Start with the number 8.

  • If it is even, add 7 then double it.

  • If it is odd, double it then add 7.

Worked Solution
Create a strategy

Follow the algorithms for the number 8.

Apply the idea

Since 8 is even, we do the action described in the second dot point. We add 7 and then double the answer:

\displaystyle 8+7\displaystyle =\displaystyle 15Add 7
\displaystyle 15\times 2\displaystyle =\displaystyle 30Double the answer
Idea summary

A branch is when the next step depends on an answer, or condition.



Design algorithms involving branching and iteration to solve specific classes of mathematical problems

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