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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Algorithms, Part I by Princeton University

9,125 ratings
1,877 reviews

About the Course

This course covers the essential information that every serious programmer needs to know about algorithms and data structures, with emphasis on applications and scientific performance analysis of Java implementations. Part I covers elementary data structures, sorting, and searching algorithms. Part II focuses on graph- and string-processing algorithms. All the features of this course are available for free. It does not offer a certificate upon completion....

Top reviews

May 31, 2017

This is a great class. I learned / re-learned a ton. The assignments were challenge and left a definite feel of accomplishment. The programming environment and automated grading system were excellent.

Jun 2, 2018

Good contents and the logic of the whole course structure is very clear for a novice like me. The weekly homework is also awesome. Would recommend to anyone who wants to learn about computer science.

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51 - 75 of 1,820 Reviews for Algorithms, Part I

By Gabriel A P S

Jul 21, 2020

It's a very good course! I've learned Java and I had to think outside the box to get the most efficient solutions! It has many interesting and complex problems to solve.

By pradeep v

Jul 23, 2020

excellent. exceptional way of teaching. the student needs to listen carefully all the words spoken, as the lecturer pinpoints every detail or touches them.

By Erik U

Jul 21, 2020

Challenging, but informative. I learned a lot and will think about programming algorithms and data structures much more carefully now.

By Chuangye W

Dec 13, 2020

This is a very useful course. Thanks for the teachers' work.

By Денис Д

Dec 8, 2020

The best algorithmic course I've ever seen

By Tom V

Dec 11, 2020

very clear

By Mohammed A S

Jan 19, 2020

Awesome course. The instructor is one of the best in the business. It gives you a proud feeling to be taught by someone who himself has contributed so much to the tech world in terms of Algorithm and Data structures. Though sometimes it does get a little frustrating as the topic is so hard. My only complain about this course is as the course is in java for people trying to implement the Algorithms in other languages like c++, python it gets a little hard to find the alternatives of language specific features in other languages so i wish some help was given on that regard. Overall great course. A big thanks to the instructor for making this course.

By Trevor C

Mar 22, 2021

Good curriculum, but poor presentation.

These are the building blocks for physics engines and data structures, and most people won't have to implement this directly, but it's helpful to understand applications and limitations. Nearly all coding interviews will ask about these concepts as well, so this material has lots of value in finding a job. The explanations are detailed, and the visualizations for the various data-types are fairly good.

That said, there is room for improvement. After the first couple of assignments, I switched to auditing this course, because of all the issues.

- The content was not migrated very well, resulting in many/most exercises having disclaimers that they haven't been migrated yet, and others having links to resources that will need a few extra step to work. I think the materials might just be out of sync with the assignment descriptions, but they certainly didn't go smoothly for me.

- Practice problems have hints, but no answers. It's useful to think through, but you either know the answer, or you don't. You're probably better off just working through problems on codeforces.

- Long lecture format was from a traditional classroom. This works alright, but feels a bit bloated in comparison to other Coursera courses I've taken. The checkpoints are trivial, and added after production, so they didn't add much either.

By Terng N

Oct 11, 2016

Good course for a free one. Thank you for all of your great work. Somehow, the pace is too fast. Covering about 2 sections per week is by far too hard to read the book along with the class. There's no practice exercise to strengthen what you learn. The assignment is very hard and sometime don't directly implement the knowledge you learn in that week. Sometime the video sound is too quiet (but you can read the transcript when it happened.) The book is better in my opinion.


Jan 13, 2019

É ruim pq o curso é em ingles, e pelo menos a legenda deveria ser em português, e até a legenda ta em inglês também, pra quem está iniciando e não tem nenhum conhecimento em inglês é péssimo.

By Stephen L

Sep 18, 2021

Endless technical issues with Java class paths and config etc, and sparse, unclear assignment specifications makes this course a inefficient use of time.

By Umut A

Mar 11, 2021

Python would be much better choice for this kind of course, Java is good but old school and archaic..

By Ufuk D

Sep 21, 2020

Too much detailed first assignment containing open-ended irrelevant tasks. Got bored.

By Eric G

Oct 20, 2021

This was an excellent course. I read along in in the Algorithms pt I book and the lectures were a great compliment to the book. The homeworks were quite challenging, but I thought they were all very fun topics and as others mentioned you really feel a great sense of accomplishment from finishing them.

I came into this class with no prior Java programming experience. The first and second homeworks were difficult for me as I was struggling with the language while trying to solve the problems. I think the way the course is structured (and to a greater extent the book) if you have a rudementry Java programming background (or experience with another languge--python for me) the basics of working with Java are described, and there is enough information and examples given to help you learn Java while you learning algorithms. Reading along with the course is a big committment (500 pages); a compromise that would be helpful for someone new to java is to read the fundimentals chapter (chapter 1), which is still 100 pages, but provides a solid enough introduction to Java (for someone with prior programmming experience).

By Alex E

May 21, 2017

Great course with appropriately challenging assignments! Clearly a lot of effort was put into designing them in such a way that the API and code-tester forces you to implement precisely the algorithm they're talking about, but you still have to write all the interesting code from scratch. Difficult, but a ton of test clients and other resources are provided to help you out. I felt really rewarded for each assignment completed.

I was taking this as a refresher (took Algorithms in college), and found the lectures much more interesting this time around. For example, the way Red-Black trees were explained as an implementation of 2-3 trees, made the algorithm much easier to understand than how I learned it before, which was that a red-black tree is a binary tree maintaining such-and-such invariant blah blah blah. As a result I retained more about how the algorithm works, and the invariant actually makes sense to me now.


Jan 10, 2018

This course is designed so well that it is the best as an introduction for algorithm beginners. It does not include any obscure maths formulas, but it has a lot of propositions and properties that build up the rigorous analysis framework, teaching us how to think systematically in terms of designing, analyzing and choosing algorithms. Leveraging Java, you can learn the algorithm implementations and applications by experiments. This approach makes algorithms learning very practical. The course also advocates for good programming style which is very important in software construction in the industry. This is assured by using some good tools such as FindBugs and so on. Last but not least, this course provides very rich learning materials, especially the high quality assignments with good auto-graders which provide us invaluable feedback, and high quality example source code and standard library.

By Xinyuan Z

Jun 13, 2017

I can't measure how important this course is to me. I am a graduate student in the field of Theory & Engineering of Control, which is actually a domain related half with theory and mathematics and half with engineering, coding and application. I have involved in some international competitions before, responsible for C++ coding. After I struggled to finish this course and all the assignments, however, I find that I have a better understanding of programming. What I should do is definitly not just finish the functions raised by a project, but to analyse my codes, to optimise them and maintain them as something can be reused. Also I got to know the fields of robot path planning (A* algorithm) and so on. I will take another part of this course in the next month cause it really takes my a lot of time, but there are something crutial to deal with. Thank all the friends I've met in the forum.

By shan h

Jul 5, 2020

This course is great. The lecturer explains the ideas and illustrate them with animation crystal clearly. The effort put into the walk-through of the material can be clearly felt, which get the job done very well. The only thing that i felt somehow missing is the philosophy behind those algorithms, like what makes one algorithms faster than the other? Is it because slower algorithm does extra job than goal? The course might be more intriguing if that part can be covered to some extend.

The assignments really impressed me, especially how the design of auto-grader. This course can really be standalone without any instructor with this auto-grader. The assignments themselves are really useful in consolidating the covered material. Beside the design of the APIs give me a good lesson what a good encapsulation is and how convenient they could be, which is really useful experience.

By shant c

Aug 14, 2017

I took this course with no prior experience in Java, and that was not a major roadblock to finish this course. The way Dr. Robert and Dr. Kevin have designed the assignment, it’s just fabulous. They provide the helper class – StdDraw, SET, and etc. All you need to do is think about applying the lectures from Dr Robert. The delivery of the lecture from Dr. Robert is very insightful, crisp, and to the point. I liked how Dr. Robert was excited while mentioning his Red-Black tree reference on a TV series (Spoiler Alert !!!), and how the order of complexity of various data structures are computed and compared. The assignments are designed to apply the concepts on real world problems. I would like to thank Dr. Robert, Dr. Kevin, and other mentors for sharing this well-organized and well-crafted course on Algorithms. I can’t wait to begin Algorithms Part II.

By Peter K

Jan 2, 2018

I highly recommend this course to anybody who is willing to learn about data structures and algorithms, understand in which situation which algorithm or data structure may be more suitable, how are these used in real life problems or even if you only want to practice them again. The lectures are very well structured, providing a lot of useful information and each week (except for the last one) requires to program a challenging* assessment (*depends on your algorithms and data structures knowledge and experience level). Even though all the material and programming assessments are in Java, it is should not be a problem to implement the same in any other programming language (except for you might miss the generics in some - requiring you to implement "same" data structures for different primitive/elementary data types).

By Troy B

Mar 26, 2021

Great content and the lectures were about as engaging as a video can be. The assignments were big enough to be challenging but not so big as to be daunting. For most intermediate level students I expect they will need to spend the time estimated. A passing grade on an assignment can be achieved without nailing down every detail, and I believe it does demonstrate an adequate grasp of the material.

I spent way too much time trying to max out my grades, but I enjoy programming and puzzles.

My only real complaint is that the IDE provided is a bit too nit picky. It's too concerned about spelling and flagged some of my defensive programming habits (initializing variables that really didn't need to be initialized at that time, for example). Annoying.

In summary, time well spent. Good course, looking forward to part II.

By Liyang L

Feb 6, 2020

Excellent course covers basic algorithms and data structures, where theories are intuitively explained along with practical applications.

What impress me most is the programming assignments, which are both challenging and fun, helps strengthening my understanding of the topics and improve programming skills. It's very satisfying to improve my code and pass every correctness/memory/timing/bonus tests. I do wish there are more programming assignments.

However, I hope each topics are taught more in depth, I feel those text books contains way more contents than online courses, but reading those walls of texts are too dry and daunting compared to online learning and practicing. I understand that buiding a learning platform like this requires huge efforts, so this is just my wish.

By Ramshankar

Oct 26, 2019

Prof. Sedgewick is super great. This course is tough although there are only programming assignments in the coursera version. The videos can be viewed several times and we may catch up on ideas that we miss due to short-attention spans etc issues. I shudder to think of the days when we did not have video recordings... The assignments are graded by a machine using a very carefully designed method- they really take teaching seriously out there. It is all fine and such and did you know, they have a super cool java development kit and an algs package.. i haven't used java much for many many years but I enjoyed all the help that i got out of the course's JDK that offered loads of type checking etc. and you can install in linux or windows. Have fun at it, if you can.

By Adam S

Aug 3, 2020

Highly recommend to those wanting to learn from scratch or refresh their memory on data structures & algorithms. I recommend supplementing this course with the textbook version which features more details and homework questions in addition to the very well made programming assignments on this platform. If you enjoy this course, I would also highly suggest to check out the part 2 of this course. It is a little more challenging however I would debatably say the information in that part is very valuable as it includes many practical applications you would see anywhere. Cheers to Kevin Wayne, Robert Sedgwick and any other person who contributed to the development of these resources. It is greatly appreciated by many self-learning students including myself.

By Nikita Z

Mar 22, 2017

Great overview course. I have taken algorithms in college, and I am currently a software developer, but I have found this tremendously useful to review the material (especially good for interview prep!). I even gain a better understanding of concepts I thought I knew well already. The professor explains everything in a concise and thorough manner, the homeworks are well thought out, and the hints are helpful. The only improvement I could think of for the course would be to make the lecture sound a bit quieter during the few times the professor would cough -- the mic distortions can be a little annoying. Overall, highly recommend this course to anyone looking to learn basics of algorithms or review the material for interviews or general understanding.