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

4.6
stars
11,254 ratings
2,383 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

SG
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.

BD
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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2251 - 2275 of 2,330 Reviews for Algorithmic Toolbox

By Aarjesh R

Sep 2, 2021

Explanation could have been better.

By Jitendra S

Aug 13, 2017

Need to more practise question

By Bijoy D

Jun 15, 2020

explanations are not so good

By Nicolas E

Oct 26, 2016

A little light on the theory

By Alireza B K

Nov 11, 2021

way too hard to understand

By Aryan V

Jul 7, 2019

subtitle donot work on pc

By Alan Z

May 17, 2018

Not well designed course

By aparna b

Jun 26, 2021

a good source to learn

By harshit s

Jun 21, 2020

not good for begineers

By Ashwin M

May 15, 2020

Advanced for beginners

By Shivangi G

Aug 30, 2021

very useful topic

By 刘晓菡

Mar 2, 2018

kind of difficult

By Leon C

Sep 22, 2017

Feel not great

By Yi L

May 27, 2019

继续努力

By MOHAN K R

Aug 16, 2021

Ooh

By 321910302014 g

Nov 20, 2020

ok

By Zhongyu K

May 13, 2016

Even though this course covers a lot fundamentals for introduction to algorithm, the course itself is not designed as good as I expected. For starters, the weekly problem designs aren't very good. Some problem statements are ambiguous and not very clear unless you read more than one time or take a closer look at the examples. Often, the input format/arguments are designed to take redundant info. Some problem even has more than one possible correct outputs, which is just confusing for learning purpose.

In terms of lecture videos, it's good that there are some classic algorithm problems being demonstrated in the video, however the linkage between how to express a problem in mathematical languages is poorly explained. For example, in the lecture of edit distance, the realization of the matrix was not well explained at all. I personally appreciate a lot of the thorough proving steps introduced in the lectures, however I personally think the proofs are often not well explained to the audience (I also understand that it's more difficult to explain proving steps). Considering the large variety of audience, I would recommend the instructors separate the comprehensive more in-depth knowledge into optional videos, in this way the audiences could decide if they want to spend time in optional videos or not based on their own needs, meanwhile the instructors could spend a little bit more time to explain the difficult concepts better. Overall, I know that talking and analyzing algorithms can be kinda of boring and challenging, but I wish the course videos could be stated in a more interesting and intriguing way.

By VICTOR A

Apr 26, 2016

The course starts very promising, but it gets worse week after week, culminating on a barely understandable week about dynamic programming. That’s when I gave up and decided to write this review instead, with just one assignment missing to complete the course.

Some of the teachers aren’t native english speakers, which is fine, but their english is very hard to understand. I found myself having to watch some portions of the videos over and over again in order to understand what was being said. I tried reading the transcripts instead, but the they’re even worse! It seems that they were automatically generated from the videos, thus suffering with the poor pronunciation.

The teachers use mathematical sophistication that feels unnecessary, but to be fair, they do mention it on the FAQ as part of the necessary background. However, even though it’s an online course, they barely use any teaching method besides very raw slides, some dry mathematical proofs and someone speaking about the content. The only resources offered to help learning are a few open source visualizations. I expected much more.

The only good aspect from this course are the assignment checkers, which allow you to write your solutions in multiple languages.

I deeply regret the money and time I spent on this course.

By Ryu P

May 18, 2021

This course needs some serious care. The lectures are sometimes understandable, but when they aren't, they are extremely difficult to understand if at all understandable. The lecturers seem very lifeless and read from a prompt with no emphasis on actual important parts. After each lecture, I knew I would have to go to Youtube to get a much clearer explanation from Stanford Algorithms, mycodeschool, or anything else that actually explains the problem in a clear way. The language used is worse than a textbook and they anticipate no confusion among the students. I love reading textbooks and I chose this course because I thought it would be nicer, I was very wrong. The robotic presentation along with minimal effort to provide clarity truly makes this course nearly worthless. The programming problems in the course are classic and known to be useful/fundamental, yet they seem to not know how to present them in a way that is clear. The very last week is the most un-explained, so watch out and try to look for anything online to help explain it, the instructors barely do.

By Anton M

Nov 15, 2021

JavaScript is a pain for this course.

Example files are using "readline" module for reading input. It is not suitable for large data sets. Starting from week 4 it is not possible to use readline. Only reading bytes from the input stream helps.

Next, the main, issue is that grader is not reliable for JS code. Same code sometimes passes successfully and next time it fails. Sorting and searching for some tasks cannot be passed even when using standard Array,sort((a, b) => a-b) and Array.indexOf().

I've spent hours on finding issue in my code before trying starndard JS API for search and sort and found that I cannot pass even using standard JS API.

It is a shame that course claims to have support for JS but actually some tasks it is not possible to pass using JS.

All in all material is OK. Lectors are good.

By Maram N I

Oct 12, 2021

The course lectures need more examples on the explained ideas to get understood. The only strength point of the course is the quizzes and assignments although they require a very good understanding for solving, which isn't provided enough in the lectures. The first two -or maybe three- weeks of this course are the best, but from the fourth week I found a great difficulty to understand anything from the lectures and searched a lot to be able to solve the assignments. The final part, which is the dynamic programming, was sadly the worst of the course. I didn't understand most of its lectures and found a huge difficulty to solve its assignments. Overall, I surely have learned new ideas, but much less than expected.

By Supharerk T

May 21, 2016

Update: As I proceed to wk 5, I know why there are some complaint on Dynamic programming,

Reduced to 2 stars. Lectures are totally useless for the assignment,

The course is really good until week 4 when it deteriorates very quick. No matter how many times I re-watch the lecture, I can't understand much. I ended up using wikipedia for the quiz instead :P

I can't use much of the course forum since there are too many posts there and it keep crashing my chrome.

This course gets my 3 stars from the first 3 weeks alone, otherwise it gonna be 0-2 stars.

By Ayan P

Sep 24, 2020

I started the course to gain knowledge in algorithms but I am disappointed. Of course there are lots of assignments to do which kind of upgrade your skills. But I am disappointed with the way of explanation. The explanations are just like reading scripts. Also, they don't give the problem statement properly. I assignments, you would find the title of the problem but not the actual problem statement.

The instructors are very knowledgeable but I don't think their explanations are right up to the mark, at least not for me.

By Rayeed R (

Nov 9, 2020

Course started out great but as time went on the quality kept dropping. Week 3 is where it started to go bad for me. The instructor kept jumbling words up and explanation was really poor. Later weeks most of the algorithms weren't properly explained and you have to actually google stuff and read and learn everything pretty much independently from elsewhere if you want to code up the problems. The blind test cases were really weird because you have no clue what went wrong and where it went wrong.

By Tsz Y W

Jul 28, 2016

These two stars go to the instructor in week 1. I left the course after week 3 because I couldn't tolerate the accents of the instructors. I got frustrated starting from week 2 where I have to reread the subtitles to understand the material. Please let someone who can speak English fluently teach the course, please. The course goes kinds of fast, this is first course of the Specialization and it quickly jumps to Greedy algorithm, really? In general Algorithm course, it is usually taught late.