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

4.6
stars
9,500 ratings
2,018 reviews

About the Course

The 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

SG

Jan 20, 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.

MM

Sep 29, 2017

good course, I like the fact you can use a lot of languages for you programming exercises, the content is really helpful, I would like to have more indications from the grading system to save time.

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126 - 150 of 1,946 Reviews for Algorithmic Toolbox

By Jhosevic C

Jul 06, 2019

Magnífico curso, todo muy bien explicado y con ejercicios geniales.

By Rakshita M

Jun 18, 2019

Absolutely needed introduction to algorithms.

Thank You. :)

By RAJ S

Jun 24, 2019

Unique, Helpful, I am always eager to solve problems

By AKSHAY A

Jun 22, 2019

Good lectures and programming assignments !

By umang k g

Jun 17, 2019

it was good learning and excellent

By Ranjeet K M

Jun 10, 2019

An amazing course for Algo Lovers.

By Subash T

Jun 06, 2019

It was a very productive course

By Воробьев А А

Jun 02, 2019

Extremely useful course.

By Suman B

Jun 22, 2019

SELF PACED BEST COURSE

By Himanshu P

Jun 23, 2019

Exceptional material!

By Bhawana C

Jun 16, 2019

it is a nice course!

By Manish K J

Jun 18, 2019

Highly Recommended.

By Tantravahi A

Jun 22, 2019

Excellent intro

By Krishna s

Jul 05, 2019

Outstanding

By Abhishek G

Jul 12, 2019

excellent

By Mashhood A S

Jun 14, 2019

good

By Moaaz

Mar 17, 2019

The course content is really great. It helps with learning algorithms in a very neat and organised way.

However, the grading system is little bit hard to use. It is not interactive by any means and breaks sometimes with changing behavior.

By Lee M Y

Sep 26, 2020

Pretty good, lots of good practice but it gets extremely difficult later in the course. And since this is just the first course of the specialization, I think this specialization is going to be tough as hell

By Prabhuyadav P

Oct 24, 2018

language of professor in a dynamic programming part 1 is tough to understand and makes he concept even harder to understand through videos.(this is only for week5)

By Brian E

Mar 31, 2019

The lectures are hit and miss. Some are helpful, and others are pretty hard to follow. The coding challenges are helpful.

By Melody C

Aug 16, 2019

I'm giving 3 stars out of respect for the hard work the instructors, Coursera community and course mentors put together to make this course happen, but the quality of the course is at most 1-2 stars. I finished 100% of the assignments even though half of that was required to pass the course, and I have a few concerns about this course:

1 - Poor Use of Pseudo Codes. While Pseudo codes are perfectly fine and sometimes extremely helpful, none of the Pseudo codes in this course were intuitive and can be efficiently translated into real codes. First of all, variable names are confusing and do not tell you what this symbol holds at the first glance, just like how the whole course was taught in a mathematical way rather than programming way, variable names are all like i, j, s, t, l .... when we could have made them into something meaningful and readable.

2 - Since only Pseudo codes were given, it's hard for newer students to learn how a working algorithm actually looks like and how it runs at each step. I feel that either you already know how to do it, or you can't come up with one at all before debugging for hours. So it is more important to show something that actually works from the beginning, then students can imitate -> improvise -> create. Again the Pseudo codes are terrible examples.

3 - DP sections were badly explained, really really bad ........ any of the YouTube videos and GeeksforGeeks explanations are 10X clearer and more intuitive. I feel like the instructors just wanted to teach the math instead of how to program. But the math isn't any difficult to understand, the key is to convert ideas into codes, and this part was completely ignored.

By Joe M

Aug 24, 2018

There is barely any support for this course. On most assignments, if your code doesn't work, you get zero direction in regards to having any clue on how to proceed.

By Jibran Z B

Nov 07, 2019

The way of communicating can be improved, rest is good.

By Anmol B

Dec 02, 2019

problems asked are not explained properly in videos

By Nasim Z

Jun 15, 2016

Algorithmic Toolbox consists of a series of slides containing slimmed down explanations on introductory algorithmic concepts, followed up with programming assignments. The slides are the centrepiece of the course, as the presenters rarely stray from the bullet points and pseudocode they're comprised of.

I learned a lot during this course. Although, to gain confidence in your knowledge, this is a course that will require you to seek out additional materials to supplement your learning. Perhaps unsurprising being an introductory course, but the presenters struggle when faced with setting expectations.

Throughout the course presenters often gloss over fairly complex concepts, treating them as they were trivial knowledge. This applies to mathematical definitions, proofs where most steps are skipped, tree diagrams without the context of their underlying theory, or bullet points used in place of what could be detailed explanations.

All material is left equally weighted. Rather than providing explanations like: "We don't need to go into detail on this, only x concept from it is important for what we want to focus on. Reference this chapter in this book for more detail." presenters would read mathematical definitions verbatim from the slides and move on. I was often unsure of how much I would need to know about such concepts.

In terms of communication ability, the presenters don't hold up against many of the free/low-cost services I'm accustomed to using, for example: MIT OpenCourseWare, Udacity, edX, Khan Academy, Code School, Treehouse, etc. Perhaps unsurprising, as these competing services often feature professional communicators rather than professional researchers. But the marketplace for quality online education is definitely becoming a competitive one. Users now expect nothing less than presenters with exceptional communication/teaching ability.

In most videos the presenters read verbatim from the slides and motion with their hands to explain concepts that would be better broken down on a whiteboard. Rarely straying from the slides, the times the presenters go into more depth on a concept, you get a scribble in the corner of a slide, lacking the clarity I've come to expect when approaching complex concepts from master educators like YouTuber PatrickJMT or Khan Academy. After a couple weeks into the course, I just went straight to the slides, read MIT's Introduction to Algorithms, and skipped most of the course videos.

But all things considered, the course served as a good curriculum to guide my focus through the introductory concepts, regardless of where I sought it out.