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

7,007 ratings
1,476 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


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.


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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1026 - 1050 of 1,407 Reviews for Algorithmic Toolbox

By Kirill V

Jan 24, 2018

I did not know much about data structures when starting and had to figure them out by myself to complete assignments in the final two weeks of the course, which unfortunately took a very long time to figure out. It turns out that the relevant data structures (particularly tree lists/arrays) are in the next course and it would be good if I knew about this beforehand.

Otherwise, the course is very good and teaches how to think about problems to solve them and not only solve them with pre-made solutions.

By Anthony K

Dec 27, 2016

Lectures and quizzes are okay, assignments are great to make you think deeper about the topics. I have to agree with a lot of the other course takers that you get very little help from the teaching staffs. However, I do feel that the discussion forums are enough to help you through all of the programming tasks.

Programming assignments aren't really friendly to Haskell's list, and vectors are not available. If you use Haskell, you'll be forced to work with arrays or sequences, which are not as nice.


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 06, 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 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 Sergey K B

Feb 02, 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 Matthew C

Dec 06, 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 08, 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 Rishi R

Feb 03, 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 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 Vitaly P

Feb 10, 2018

It's a really good and challenging course.

High quality materials and assignments.

I would have given it 5 stars if the last week was explained a little bit better. I had a feeling they didn't put enough effort in the last week, at least not as much as in the first four.

Anyways, generally this is a really good course and I learned a lot! Recommended

By Akshay B

Jan 12, 2018

The course can be a little tough if you do not have a basic idea of algorithms but if you go through the recommended readings, it is a really fun course. The quiz between videos are relevant and make you think about what you just learned. The programming assignments are not tough but will ask you to rattle your brain. All in all a great course.

By Christopher R

Mar 08, 2017

Great exercises. My only complaint is the last 2 weeks, the instructors weren't visual enough. They kept using hand gestures and not enough concrete visualizations of some of the steps. There were a lot of concrete visualizations for the big ideas... but not enough for all the different material and intermediary steps they were trying to teach.

By Jennifer K

Jun 06, 2017

The material was very thorough and the programming exercises challenging. I liked how you could do the exercises in a choice of different programming languages - doing the exercises is necessary for really understanding the material. Some of the readings can be downloaded for free online (in earlier releases) and this is worth the trouble.

By Yefei W

Mar 28, 2016

Very instructive and informative, helps resolving many doubts.

Excellent examples and programming assignments, information provided by autograder is just about right.

I feel like the programming assignment is just a tad too relaxing, for dynamic programming for example, I think we need to complete 3 out of 5 in order to pass, not just two.

By Maximilian R

Jun 14, 2017

Overall, a very good course. Really its truly amazing that this course is pretty much language agnostic and you can use whatever you know or feel like. Really frees you from the esoteric details, to focus on the algorithms themselves. Do wish the last chapter on dynamic programming could have been better explained or split into 2 weeks.

By Sergey A S

Jul 30, 2016

The course gives a good overview on the algorithms types and problems, but it's cannot be used as standalone source of algorith,s learning. You should use good textbook as well.

The programming challenges are really interesting (and challenging), sometimes it took for me a couple of evenings to complete all five week assignments.


By Robin S S

Jan 13, 2020

I loved the difficulty of the problems throughout the course, and I was properly challenged at every step. However, I feel like the 5th and 6th week needed more thorough and clearer explanation on dynamic programming. The videos alone were not enough for me, and I had to lean on a fair number of external sources to learn the material.

By chirag t

Jul 01, 2018

Too much content I think all the type of algortihm are in one course like dynamic programming and greedy algorithm . This will take more time to complete and understanding. But still overall this course is very good . problem statement are good and forum will help in many ways. I have already completed 2-3 course offered by UCSD .

By Vivek R

Jul 13, 2018

Programming Assignments are simply brilliant. However, explanations are not clear, partly due to the instructors language. Nonetheless i would recommend this course. (Note: My programming language was python. I don't know about other languages but don't take this course in C, if so you'll curse yourself for taking this course)