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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

4.9
stars
2,370 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

MM

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.

CT

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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101 - 125 of 725 Reviews for Build a Modern Computer from First Principles: From Nand to Tetris (Project-Centered Course)

By Sayed H

Jan 09, 2020

Exceptionally well-designed course. Taught me how to build a computer and assembler from the first principle and amazingly, I didn't have any outstanding questions at the end of the course. Everything made sense. This is an excellent course for understanding the basics of the inner workings of a computer without being too bogged down into engineering details.

By Oleksandr Z

Feb 22, 2020

TL; DR - this course is brilliant.

***

When I started this course, it was so intriguing to see so many 5-star reviews. I could not find any flaws in the course. The material is dense and interesting. The course is fully polished, even shining.

Dear Professor Shocken, Professor Nisan, thank You so much. This course is absolute brilliant.

@NAnd2Tetris_Part_2

0; JMP

By Saksham G

Aug 16, 2020

Excellent course!! All the course materials and discussions forums were extremely helpful. All the tools and project files provided with the course worked without any difficulties. Also, it was a very shallow learning curve to get used to the new tools and hack language. Thanks Noam and Shimon for making such wonderful course. I am looking forward to part 2.

By Ndimangwa F N

Mar 16, 2018

I have never taken such a practical session like this. It was a challenge especially on the middle weeks , however I made it. I recommended for any one , needs to understand how the computer works, and increase the system design skills, this is the course to take. I recommended to take a full version (non-audit version) to enjoy the full power of the course

By sabyasachi m

Aug 25, 2017

This is the greatest course I ever came across. Together along with part 2 it connects all dots and goes beyond abstractions to show how a computer works. It is the best course that can teach an electronics or electrical engineer how the HWs and SWs interact in a machine. It indeed goes from building an nand gate to a fully functional primitive application.

By Andrew J

Nov 21, 2017

This is hands down one of the best courses I have ever done. It tears down the layers of abstraction between your programs and your computer's hardware. It's a project centred course meaning you get to build very cool things every week.

I'm blown away that I just finished building a computer that can play pong... it has a display and keyboard inputs!

By Travis B

Jun 28, 2020

This was an amazing learning experience that I enjoyed so much. I expanded my knowledge of computer science especially regarding logic gate construction, hardware descriptor language (HDL), and how to build a simple assembler. I would highly recommend this course to anyone who wants a better understanding of how computers work at the machine level.

By Vinicius S

May 18, 2020

It was a great course. It fulfilled its role in demystifying the internal parts of a computer. It was a excellent idea to present Digital Circuits through a Hardware Description Language (HDL). It was rewarding to get in touch with Assembly language in the processes of "building" the CPU as well as while coding the Assembler. Thank you!

By Sung W K

Apr 12, 2020

I had so much fun following the course and I actually feel I've learned a lot.

Not only the course videos are helpful and easy to follow but also the "perspective units" were also very interesting that I watched all the videos.

I definitely will move on to part 2 of this course and I am 100% sure that I will get all I want in part 2 also.

By Apostolis P

Jul 06, 2020

Excellent course. Not one to take lightly as it involves plenty of hard work in order to understand the new concepts it introduces and complete the assignments. Ideal for self-learners who wish to take their skills to the next level. It has done a great deal de-mystifying how computers work on a very low level. Definitely recommended.

By Pranjal K

Jun 24, 2017

This is one of the best courses that I have come across. I had always wanted to learn computer science in a continuous fashion . I wanted to know how all the different subjects come together to make a computer. This course was a boon for me. It showed me how to connect the dots among various subjects. Iam looking forward to part 2 now.

By Saurabh G

Mar 09, 2020

Has been a great course addressing a lot of basic questions. Very well-structured.

However, I do feel that more light could have been shed upon how the instructions in 0's and 1's in the text file (here the .hack files) are actually given to a computer. Perhaps it could be addressed in one of the QA sessions at the end of each module.

By Matthew J

Aug 02, 2020

I learned much of this material in college 20 years ago, but back then it was only book knowledge and never tied to anything practical. Doing this course has given me a much deeper understanding of how the bits and bytes of my program are handled at the lowest level. I'm looking forward to taking the second course in the series.

By Fabian d A G

May 17, 2020

This is absolutely the best course on Coursera and by far the most unique. The instructors are engaging and clear with what they teach, the quality of the lectures are superb and the amount of supplementary material and resources made available are vast. I wish the instructors would create more courses. On to Part 2 of the course!

By Vishnu A

Jun 20, 2020

This course was amazing. Despite being a computer science student, I had no real intuition as to how the different computer abstractions worked or how the simple AND,OR gates did everything the a computer could do. I've just finished the firsst part and am already amazed at how much I've learned. I look forward to the next part!

By Robert A

Sep 24, 2017

This is an excellent course that is very well-designed to include all the essential details and exclude the inessential ones. I recommend it very highly, especially to those who have some form of technical education, but may never have learned these topics in computer design that are needed to really get from logic gate to CPU.

By Mark V M

Feb 09, 2018

This was a fantastic course. I'd bought the textbook a few years ago after reading about it on HackerNews, but never had the motivation to work through it until I discovered this class on Coursera. I feel like I now have a much better grasp of what's going on inside of a computer, after having programmed for over thirty years!

By Jinho L

Feb 15, 2020

I have always wanted to know how a computer actually works. This course helped me to deep dive into the low level implementation of a computer. In the meanwhile, the projects are perfectly well organized for better understandings. Overall, I'd like to recommend this course to literally everyone who is interested in computers.

By Himanshu V

Jul 09, 2019

One of the best courses I have ever been through. If you like learning along with getting hands-on experience and the joy of building something ground-up, this course is definitely for you. I like how the designs are so simple yet completely functional. Thoroughly enjoyed making all the projects especially week 6 (Assembler).

By Jeremy L

Jun 20, 2018

Great course, but tough. I'd suggest reading the relevant chapters from the professors' book 'The Elements of Computing Systems' (chapters available for free on the professors' course website) in addition to listening to the lectures. I also read 'Code' by Charles Petzold as I took the course and found it a useful supplement.

By Diogo A d O S

Apr 27, 2020

A wonderful course. The tasks are not very hard, but challenging enough for a student to get things working. Even for auditing students, they provide ways to verify the knowledge. I think they completely achieved their goal of demystifying how computers work and are built. Thank you for the opportunity to attend this course.

By Miroslav V

Feb 22, 2020

While some of earlier topics were a bit rushed, Week 6 videos were just about explaining the assembler algorithm to the programmer, which is something programmer should invent himself, it takes away the fun, while providing no further insight into the topic. Overall great course, but it did not go very deep into some topics.

By Richard M

Jun 17, 2016

A fantastic course that should be considered as a requirement for any one working as a software developer. The tutors did an excellent job here, the course material was clear, and the assignments were fun and rewarding.

I can honestly say I've now built my own computer from simple Nand gates and it was fun and educational.

By Balaji R

Dec 13, 2018

Excellent course, I could understand from a simple logic gate how a computer hardware is built. Very useful for both student and professionals in Computer field.

The presentation was to the point very clear and crisp. Both the faculty did an amazing job in presentng the material of the course as well as the assignments.

By Antonios H

May 21, 2017

This course was amazing. I have been using computers, and programming, for 30 years (not full time). Now I finally have a deep understanding of what is going on under the hood. I have a new appreciation for the 1's and 0's that are machine language. The instructors were fantastic. I highly recommend this course.