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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Algorithmic Toolbox by University of California San Diego

11,662 ratings
2,454 reviews

About the Course

This online course covers basic algorithmic techniques and ideas for computational problems arising frequently in practical applications: sorting and searching, divide and conquer, greedy algorithms, dynamic programming. We will learn a lot of theory: how to sort data and how it helps for searching; how to break a large problem into pieces and solve them recursively; when it makes sense to proceed greedily; how dynamic programming is used in genomic studies. You will practice solving computational problems, designing new algorithms, and implementing solutions efficiently (so that they run in less than a second)....

Top reviews


Jan 19, 2017

I liked the fact that the algorithms are not just the introductory searching and sorting algorithms. The assignments are fairly difficult (I have decent scripting experience), but not impossibly so.


Jan 19, 2021

The course was really amazing which provided deep knowledge from basic to advance that how algorithms works and how to design algorithms. Thanks to all the expert teachers who taught in this course.

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1726 - 1750 of 2,406 Reviews for Algorithmic Toolbox

By João R

Nov 4, 2021


Very nice concepts explained and the diversity in the assignments was amazing.

I think the concepts were better explained than when I first went to college 15 years ago.


Week 5 needs some re work to make the materials match the other part of the course.

I'd also like some more focus into the theory in the assignments material as I felt that only in the first few weeks of the course did we get a grasp into why Big O notation is important (that was lost as soon as we hit Dynamic Programming).


May 20, 2020

Course content is good (the interactive puzzles,quizzes and assignments) but the explanations get worse as the course progresses. Especially the dynamic programming weeks, they are not explained very well but the examples done in those videos thankfully make some sense. Take the course realizing that you will have to seek other sources from time to time and strive hard to get it if you're new to this, but the questions and puzzles do end up making it worth your time, so decide accordingly.

By Philippe D

Nov 6, 2018

This is the Dark Souls of MOOCs. Tough but rewarding when you complete it. Easily one of the most beneficial courses I've taken on Coursera. In my opinion, it's up there with Andrew Ng's Machine Learning and Deep Learning courses. No fluff here, you have to really learn the material to pass. There are some small flaws in the course, material isn't always adequately covered. So definitely use the forums and outside texts and videos. Overall though, I would definitely recommend it.

By Mohammed M

Sep 6, 2020

It is very good course with very good material.

My negative point will be only on the last 2 weeks (dynamic programming) as the videos shall be more detailed with more examples for better understanding, I did not understand everything at the videos.

Positive points: Instructors are very good, the assignments is very challenging, however they are common problems.

Also the splitting of the content is very useful and helps a lot.

Thanks for the great effort!

By Pablo E M M

Aug 25, 2017

It's a great course i learnt many thing about algorithm, c++ and solving problem efficiently.

I began two week late this Course so, i decided to complete the minimum required in the homework; i thought in complete it after, in the final week, but the course finish when you get more than 60% of the course, i can't improve my califications :/. So my advise is try to finish the most quantity of the work before submit the last homework, and work hard.

By Try K

Feb 28, 2018

The problems provided were really challenging but rewarding once understood. However, I found the instructors often hard to understand in the sense of their explanations. Rather than the use of just pseudocode, I prefer to see the use of the intuition of the pseudocode via an example. In addition, I often found the mentors and instructors to be non-responsive in the forums / discussion boards. However, this class has definitely taught me a lot.

By Fernando G

Jun 29, 2016

Really challenging, starts easy but gets heavy and time consuming after 3rd week.

Be prepared to study additional material and spend some hours cracking the weekly assignments. Satisfying when you accomplish it. Maybe a good idea could be to combine algorithms and data structures and separate in 2 courses Algo & Data Structures 1, and Algo & DS 2.

I feel, a better knowledge of DS could have help me to solve the Algo assignements faster.

By Bakir Y

Jan 24, 2021

First, I really thank all instructors and staff that have worked hard to prepare this amazing course. I learnt a lot by taking it. However, in some lectures I got stuck, some content was not clear enough to understand. Despite the fact that I passed the assignments, it was challenging for me. I could not follow the instructor as he explains the algorithms. In all, it is worth taking to this valuable course. Thanks a lot!

By Naufal P H

Aug 1, 2021

Exceptional course for beginner programming. I just discovered that programming can be fun, especially if you figure things out yourself. I bet technique used in this course would be useful later in any career (as it teach you how to solve problem). But there is one hiccup: the grader sometimes can be manipulated, leading for too easy challenges. But everything else is just perfect, in my opinion (beginner programmer).

By Sergey K B

Feb 2, 2017

I liked the course - it has very good balance, with some challenging tasks, but not too hard for smart learner. Good job! Getting 100% grade was fun.

On other side minimal passing grade is a joke. You can literally get the certificate simply by implementing given pseudo-code in language of your choice. It hugely devalues the certificate, especially so without Honor track and no "with distinction" certificate offered.

By Ahmed F S A

Nov 11, 2021

 this course is my first algorithm course,and i loved it ! It provided a good coverage on the algorithms and well explained material to study from,but i didn’t like the english accent of the instructors,it was hard to cope with and understand in most of the times ,i had to read the subtitles under each video to understand the content sometimes,but still i gained a lot from this course and i recommend it.

By Matthew C

Dec 5, 2016

Nice and tough course. Make sure to plan ahead for the homework if you expect to complete all of the assignments above and beyond what is required. After finishing the course I switched my session to the next one so that I would be able to complete all the extra assignments. It can be tough juggling this class if you work full time, and have other projects outside of work that demand your time.

By Daniel K O

Aug 8, 2016

Near the end it becomes a slosh to get through all the information covered in the last two weeks. It feels like you are given some hints and pointers on what to do, but for the most part, the last two weeks are being tossed in the deep end and hoping you learn how to swim.

I want to give a 3.5 but that's not allowed. With the amount of content covered this course is closer to a 4 than a 3.

By Jason G

Sep 10, 2017

Solid material. Majority of the lectures are clear and are a nice logical progression. I didn't have to resort to external materials apart from 1 problem. I love that you're required to submit code that gets compiled & tested. It's a much better learning tool than just videos + multiple choice questions. I'm looking forward to working through the other courses in this specialisation.

By Paul B

May 29, 2019

In total, I learned a lot in the course. The programming assignments are really hard but if you stick with it, it is very worth. One thing I didn't like that much are the explanation videos - here, the team could improve. A bit more informal "intuition" explanation would help a lot to create a better understanding of the material (e.g. like Prof. Ng in the Machine Learning course!).

By Anmol C S

Aug 25, 2020

The course was excellent with the video explanations providing a solid foundation for working on the programming assignment questions. If I was to recommend anything it would be that maybe you can improve upon the video lectures for the divide and conquer section of the course as I had to read upon a lot of external sources to get the gist of the ideas discussed in this section.

By Rishi R

Feb 3, 2020

Coursera is one of the biggest online MOOC providers. it offers quality courses and specializations from world topmost universities and organizations. It offers courses in most popular subjects such as engineering, humanities, mathematics, business, computer science. I personally enjoyed this course a lot and recommend this for building a good strength in algorithms.

By Kevin L

Jan 11, 2021

The content is really good, the algorithms are classic and the pseudocodes and slides are awesome. However, you really need captions for the lectures. Please do not take it as an offense, but one instructor's English was hard to understand. I always had to repeat the sentence a few times, which is what stopped me from giving a 5-star.

But overall it is a good course.


Jul 4, 2020

This is an informative course and has a lot of information. Most of the topics are taught well. Where I had the most problem was Dynamic Programming. It was a new thing for me and I had a hard time understanding it . Some concepts of DP are not taught that well, so I had to look up on youtube and different sites but in the end, I have gained a lot from this course.

By David B

Jul 18, 2020

I learned a lot about algorithms, but I honestly felt very, very hampered due to the degree that the course was based on Python fluency. I do know some Python, but this course really expects a lot more knowledge than I was led to believe when I signed up. I'm not sure if I'd recommend the course to anyone with less than a professional-level knowledge of Python.

By Monish T

Sep 18, 2019

The course has good material, but the programming assignment evaluation has some drawbacks. It returns back with error message saying 0 points as Test #34/70 failed without indicating what failed and what is the student supposed to correct. With these limited feedback it is very difficult to resolve the problem and score good on the programming assignments.

By David M

Aug 25, 2016

Overall I like this course. The beginning of the course was very light and easy to follow. As the concepts got more in-depth, the weeks (namely 4 and 5) felt rushed and somewhat incomplete. Regardless, having never been exposed to this type of material, and for the price, I would recommend this course to anyone looking to get their feet wet with algorithms.

By Zhenbang D

Oct 8, 2021

I like the course, but I just hope that the grader can provide a little bit more information. Like sometimes I was only told that my answer is wrong but not telling me the test data, which makes the debug process painful. This does not reflect the life reality as we always know under what condition a bug will pop up. So, I hope the grader can be improved.


Jun 1, 2020

This course is a very good course but according to the problems the mentor should give us more detailed information on topics so that we can improve our DP, greedy, divide and conquer approach. The given sessions are not sufficient to do real problems. Otherwise, I want to thank you to all mentors they teach us in a very brilliant way. Thank you so much.

By Gaurav K

Oct 23, 2020

It was a good experience going through the course, definitely this is not for beginners, you must have some knowledge about the topic and solved at least 10 to 15 questions then only you can get what teachers are trying to say else it will be more difficult, Programming Assignments were good helped me know which section i am lagging, Learned a Lot.