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Back to Build a Modern Computer from First Principles: From Nand to Tetris (Project-Centered Course)

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Build a Modern Computer from First Principles: From Nand to Tetris (Project-Centered Course) by Hebrew University of Jerusalem

2,368 ratings
733 reviews

About the Course

What you’ll achieve: In this project-centered course* you will build a modern computer system, from the ground up. We’ll divide this fascinating journey into six hands-on projects that will take you from constructing elementary logic gates all the way through creating a fully functioning general purpose computer. In the process, you will learn - in the most direct and constructive way - how computers work, and how they are designed. What you’ll need: This is a self-contained course: all the knowledge necessary to succeed in the course and build the computer system will be given as part of the learning experience. Therefore, we assume no previous computer science or engineering knowledge, and all learners are welcome aboard. You will need no physical materials, since you will build the computer on your own PC, using a software-based hardware simulator, just like real computers are designed by computer engineers in the field. The hardware simulator, as well as other software tools, will be supplied freely after you enroll in the course. Course format: The course consists of six modules, each comprising a series of video lectures, and a project. You will need about 2-3 hours to watch each module's lectures, and about 5-10 hours to complete each one of the six projects. The course can be completed in six weeks, but you are welcome to take it at your own pace. You can watch a TED talk about this course by Googling "nand2tetris TED talk". *About Project-Centered Courses: Project-centered courses are designed to help you complete a personally meaningful real-world project, with your instructor and a community of learners with similar goals providing guidance and suggestions along the way. By actively applying new concepts as you learn, you’ll master the course content more efficiently; you’ll also get a head start on using the skills you gain to make positive changes in your life and career. When you complete the course, you’ll have a finished project that you’ll be proud to use and share....

Top reviews


Feb 18, 2017

An excellent course provided by phenomenal professors! Everything is broken down into simple, easily understandable portions, and leaves you with a clear idea how to proceed to solve a given problem.


Aug 23, 2020

This was so much fun, so satisfying and I learned a lot. I'm a software engineer. We do so much work in high-level languages that it's great to be reminded how computing machinery gets the job done.

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126 - 150 of 723 Reviews for Build a Modern Computer from First Principles: From Nand to Tetris (Project-Centered Course)

By Yiğit A T

Nov 29, 2019

Even though I knew quite a bit about the later parts of the course, I still learned a lot from them. Not to mention that HDL and hardware parts thought me a lot as I lacked some knowledge on that front. Overall a great course that I would recommend to anyone who is interested in learning everything about computers.

By Chakir M

Sep 01, 2019

Excellent course! I have taken many in Coursera, and this one is by far the one I have enjoyed the most, not only because of the topic but also because of the professors. Both are great communicators and provided very well prepared classes and materials. 100% recommended, looking forward to starting part 2.

By Damodaran R

Dec 05, 2016

It's an excellent practical approach to understand the inner workings of a computer at a very low level. The instructors teach at a comfortable pace and cover in great detail even the simplest of topics. More light could have been shone on how and why the control bits produce the desired output in the ALU.

By Shiva H

Aug 27, 2020

Absolutely superb course! It's was supremely satisfying to build an actual virtual working computer from scratch and see it play Pong! I commend the course creators for distilling something that's usually seen as mysterious and complicated into an accessible and tangible form. Can't wait to finish Part 2!

By Molderez

Feb 13, 2020

Nice project and interesting . The learning curve is not too steep for a beginner and the course itself can be considered as a solid funding block for a programmer interested in low level programming. The project which is spread over the 6 modules is an on going application of the abstraction principle.

By Dylan B

Sep 06, 2018

Loved this course. Great progression from concept to concept. Huge feeling of accomplishment at each step of the way as you create a working, functioning 16-bit computer. Can't wait to do Part II. Fast, responsive help from the mentors as well. I was always able to get the answers to my questions.

By shreyas k

Jun 28, 2020

i highly recommand this course to all those machine enthusiasts out there! It teaches a lot. It also motivates and fills interest in exploring and learning fielsds associated with computer hardware , though mainly softwate. but his is what this course is for, Building computer from scratch.

By Diana C

Mar 01, 2018

The professors do a great job. The material is clearly presented. It will clearly show how computers are built up from scratch. The assignments help us learn. The support for students in the forum helps with any problems understanding the material and/or completing the assignments.

By Sreenivas Y

Sep 18, 2019

Course is very good and it is suitable for any person. Even if the person doesn't have any knowledge about computer science also can complete this course. For a computer science professional it connects the dots between the concepts and show how entire hardware works in computer.

By Chen A

Oct 16, 2017

Amazing course, very interesting and simple approach to understand the low level of computer hardware. Its not my first time to deal with logic gates and flipflops, but its the first time i put this all together to build this monster. defiantly recommended, cant wait for part 2

By Mark M

Apr 18, 2016

This is in my opinion the best course on computer hardware for beginners ever created anywhere, to date. Get ready to think and work though. It's not for lazy people that want it easy.

Completing every module is a rewarding and satisfying experience and the teachers are great.

By Anton M

May 11, 2019

Great course, would recommend it to anyone who wants to understand "how does computer works"

Well structured, maintains amount of challenge on sufficient level to keep you interested

Btw I highly doubt if it's possible to complete it with 0% knowledge of any programming language

By Dmitry K

Feb 17, 2017

Brilliant course! Very exciting. By my opinion, it could be better if it was more complicated to provide more challenges for experienced software developers, but this revision also is very good. Thanks to the authors. It was very interesting to fill this gap in my knowledge.

By yami m

Jun 28, 2017

Amazing course, I recommand it to anyone that wants an overview of all the hardware inside a computer, and more generally to any computer science student. You get to really look (and experience) what is under the hood, thanks to the great job done by this course's creators.

By Vishnuwardhan S

Aug 30, 2020

This is the only course which has cleared all my doubts about how a computer can be constructed from the ground up. It was clear and detailed and provided a comprehensive picture of how a computer works. I'm really glad I took the course and look forward to taking part 2.

By Anish M

Jul 21, 2020

This was one of the most thorough courses in computer architecture and digital design. It is very satisfying to create a computer from something as simple as a NAND gate. The entire process is very rewarding and I am exciting for the next part of the NAND2TETRIS course.

By Marcel S

Nov 29, 2017

Truly a great course if you want to learn about how computers work. If you don't have a CS degree and feel that there are some gaps in your knowledge to fill this course will definitely help you. But the most important thing: This course is great fun.

Highly commended!

By Benjamin K

Dec 28, 2017

This course provides a knowledge foundation and extensible vision to see how computing systems work. I have been following this course to develop a curriculum based on the vision of this course. Excellent contribution to the bring computational literacy to the masses.

By Danny D

Sep 14, 2017

This class was fantastic! It was illuminating, well planned and extremely gratifying. I am a much more knowledgeable computer scientist as a result of taking this course. I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to truly understand how low-level computing operates.

By Steve R

Aug 28, 2020

I did this course with my teen-age son. We both were able to build a computer from basic logic components and program it in assembly language. The instructors are clear, the assignments are the right size, and the tools make it so that you can check your own work.

By Markus F P

Jun 29, 2018

A very great course, had lots of fun with the first 5 projects, but sadly wasnt able to write a program for project 6, therefore did it by hand which wasnt that interesting. However, I learned a lot about the functioning of the CPU and the Memory, which is great.

By Sapozhnikov K

Feb 21, 2018

Awesome course, it give me understanding how everything works under the hood. I am grateful to the creators for their work, perfect explanations, interesting and exciting projects, awesome supported materials and software. It was an amazing adventure. Thank you.

By Daniel S

Dec 08, 2019

This class was truly exceptional. I felt like it did an excellent job on conveying abstract concepts and I came away with a working knowledge of very basic computer architecture. I recommend this class to anyone curious about the inner workings of a computer.

By Ajinkya M

Sep 29, 2019

Really I want to thank Coursera for providing such wonderful knowledge and high-quality course available. The course should be made mandatory to kids, students & engineers. The understanding of the computers is greatly enhanced after completing this course

By Thomas N

Dec 06, 2016

The most amazing online course. I love how it is project based. Everything you learn is straight away applied to building the project and it it made me look at so many things in life differently due to the way it breaks down the concept of abstraction.