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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Calculus and Optimization for Machine Learning by HSE University

113 ratings
37 reviews

About the Course

Hi! Our course aims to provide necessary background in Calculus sufficient for up-following Data Science courses. Course starts with a basic introduction to concepts concerning functional mappings. Later students are assumed to study limits (in case of sequences, single- and multivariate functions), differentiability (once again starting from single variable up to multiple cases), integration, thus sequentially building up a base for the basic optimisation. To provide an understanding of the practical skills set being taught, the course introduces the final programming project considering the usage of optimisation routine in machine learning. Additional materials provided during the course include interactive plots in GeoGebra environment used during lectures, bonus reading materials with more general methods and more complicated basis for discussed themes....

Top reviews

Mar 4, 2021

I found the course quite difficult (I have a physics background), but topics are well explained in the lectures and with help from the discussions I succeeded. I have really learned something :)

Jul 25, 2020

It was great to deal with this course as it helped me in gaining a much and important details and knowledge behind ML. Thanks a lot!

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1 - 25 of 36 Reviews for Calculus and Optimization for Machine Learning

By Roger S

Feb 16, 2020

I am sorry to point this out but this is course is my most frustrating Coursera expierience until now. The content is quite high level and requires a quite solid mathematical background. Unfortunately the lecturer's language and presentation capabilities are so poor that I found it really hard and sometimes impossible to follow the content.

By Ronald S

Jun 16, 2020

This course is a great example, why people fail in math.

The teacher babbles stuff, which may sound simple for someone, who has studied the language of math extensively - yet he is talking to an audience, which didn't do.

The necessary vocabularies he introduces quickly in the "it's trivial" manner, which gave math professors already a bad reputation in university.

That combined with a strong accent and an uneasy way of talking, creates a very unpleasant experience.

I cannot even tell, if the material is difficult - I only can tell, that the teacher does a REALLY bad job teaching it.

By k v r

Apr 12, 2020

very poor presentation

By Francesco R

Feb 22, 2020

Atrocious experience with the answers parser in the mandatory quizzes.

By Vasily K

Jun 16, 2020

Sometimes it's hard to understand lecturer due to poor English (a lot of "Basically..." or "That's kind of nice.." is really annoying).

By Richard A

Jun 2, 2020

I found out the material is good but unfortunately the instructor often gives really bad explanation which bring me to somewhat lost during the course. But this course covers essential calculus that people need

By Yadhukrishnan

May 30, 2020

its very hard to follow his lectures as well as his writeups and also its very difficult to understand his way of teaching and language.

By Adam B

Jun 2, 2020

Professor is almost inarticulate and the initial class reeks of hucksterism.

By Eduardo A

Dec 29, 2020

This course has a lot of overhead. That is, it's too hard and time-consuming for what you learn.

For starters, it requires a refresher in algebra and trigonometry, e.g. quadratic equations, trigonometric identities, etc. since they are used extensively and the instructor just glosses over that.

The material is not always presented clearly. For example, after presenting a concept and the theory, instead of starting with a simple example and building from it, the instructor sometimes jumps directly into a rather complex one, and obviates some of the steps. The course has a lot of quizzes that require a lot of grunt work, and do not always help to solidify the understanding of the material. I found myself using other sources just to be able to really understand the material and pass the quizzes.

The final assignment on gradient descent is interesting, but again, there are a lot of details left out that require you to sift through the forum to understand.

Overall, if you are taking this class to get the certificate, it's doable and you will learn. But if you just need a multivariate calculus refresher for ML, there are more efficient ways to achieve that.

By Carlos M V R

Jul 21, 2020

Explanations of the topics are not always clear, but sometimes they are. I think the teacher could do it better in respect to the explanations of the topics. This topic is important to understand optimization for data science and it would be nice to get more help in forums because most of the time questions take a lot to be answered. Last project was interesting because of the experiment.


Jun 25, 2020

The concepts are not explained clearly. The instructors English is too bad and its too hard to understand.

its very frustrating.

By Roman P

Dec 22, 2020

First of all - I'm really sorry to tell you this, but Anton is an awful lecturer, and his English is really difficult to understand. He swallows words a lot, which is not great when you're watching math videos. I'm going through the whole specialization, and the first course was so much better, mostly because of the lecturers. In this one, I had to sometimes rewatch videos 3-4 times to understand anything, very happy to finish it and move forward to another course, where, I strongly hope, there will be no Anton. Again, I'm really sorry, but that is my impression.

By Adam P

Jan 10, 2021

A really disappointing experience. The content is weakly structured and the explanations are of low value. Everything feels rushed and the nothing is explained thoroughly. The whole feels like the team that made this course suffers from a case of the expert's blind spot. I left the specialization because of this course.

By Nicolás S

Mar 29, 2021

The professor mumbles and his english is lackluster. Very hard to follow

By wonseok k

Mar 23, 2020

good course and lecturer.

it is nightmarish that there are no more his courses currently.I'll be waiting for his new courses.

good contents.

but somewhat challenging(especially for last programming assignment)

good peers(hints from forum is not a direct answer but very useful)

By Cristian B

May 11, 2020

A really good course for refreshing basic math and understanding the reason why Gradient Descent is used

By Amir

Jun 18, 2020

The system does not take correct answers due to not being written in a certain way, which confuses and makes that we spent a lot of time repeating the exams. The final project requires some knowledge of python and the guide is a bit confusing, so you need to support yourself from the forum.

By Enrique G F

May 4, 2020

Many of the subjects were not presented as clear as some of the subjects, in other courses for the same specialization

By Noel L

Apr 11, 2020

Informative but approach employed to teach material was somewhat abstract.


Jul 17, 2020

lectures were little off but concept wise it was good though it could be better

By Anna J

Mar 5, 2021

I found the course quite difficult (I have a physics background), but topics are well explained in the lectures and with help from the discussions I succeeded. I have really learned something :)


Jul 26, 2020

It was great to deal with this course as it helped me in gaining a much and important details and knowledge behind ML. Thanks a lot!

By Xiaoyuan C

Oct 25, 2020

An excellent course to help refresh the fundamental coverage of calculus needed for machine learning!

By Kevin A G D

Aug 3, 2020

This course doesn't give you all the details, but makes you work hard enough to figure it all. 4.5/5

By James N

Mar 19, 2021

Very great content, once you get used to the way the teacher teaches, it goes really quickly