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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Computational Neuroscience by University of Washington

4.7
stars
670 ratings
157 reviews

About the Course

This course provides an introduction to basic computational methods for understanding what nervous systems do and for determining how they function. We will explore the computational principles governing various aspects of vision, sensory-motor control, learning, and memory. Specific topics that will be covered include representation of information by spiking neurons, processing of information in neural networks, and algorithms for adaptation and learning. We will make use of Matlab/Octave/Python demonstrations and exercises to gain a deeper understanding of concepts and methods introduced in the course. The course is primarily aimed at third- or fourth-year undergraduates and beginning graduate students, as well as professionals and distance learners interested in learning how the brain processes information....

Top reviews

JR

Apr 08, 2018

Extremely enlightening course on how Neuron's work and the science of computational neuroscience. Even if you don't want to get into the complex mathematics you can get a lot out of the course

CM

Jun 15, 2017

This course is an excellent introduction to the field of computational neuroscience, with engaging lectures and interesting assignments that make learning the material easy.

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1 - 25 of 155 Reviews for Computational Neuroscience

By Zeqian L

Nov 17, 2017

This course felt really sketchy. Lectures were going way too fast and kept skipping concepts and derivations. Not bad if one only wants a superficial grasp of these concepts, but definitely not worth the price.

By Roberto E

Jul 27, 2017

It goes from too simple to very complex in few seconds.

By 王桢

Feb 08, 2018

This course is a good start for learning computational neuroscience. I have learned how a single neuron processing signal and how to modeling this interesting process through mathematical and computational methods. I also learned the idea and models of the adaption of synapsis and coding of a group of neurons, which form the basis of memory and learning. The course also gave a brief intro to reinforcement learning, unsupervised learning and supervised learning and I can't wait to explore the fascinating world of deep learning.

However, I think the course focusing a lot on the modeling of a single neuron rather than the modeling of a group of neurons. I think expanding the content and depth on neuron network would help the students have a better understanding on the memory or learning process. Also, the lectures in this course are very wide, whereas the quizes, although really help on understanding the lectures, are just related to some parts of the lectures. I think it would be better if the lectures closer relate to the quizes or give us a hint on where to look in the textbook in order to have a better understanding of the lectures.

Really appreciate all your efforts! learning how our brain works and the origin of our consciousness which I think is the ultimate topics of human being has always been my dream. I'm glad that this course enabled me to move closer to my dream

By Jiazhi G

Aug 20, 2017

Nice content. Opens the gate of CNS for me.

But some explanations are just too virtual to be understood easily.

At last few weeks, the course talks about the relationship between NS and ML, which is astonishing.

By Amogh M

Nov 19, 2019

Excellent course. Got to learn concepts across a wide range of subjects like information theory, statistics, biology, chemistry, etc. (I could go on).

Coming from a CS + ML background, this helped me appreciate the building blocks of abstractions that we can so easily take for granted in the age of Deep Learning. It really helps to learn and think about these things because it makes you realize how nothing is set in stone and the popularity of one model (MLPs) has a lot to do with history and not just mathematics.

By Rob C

Mar 03, 2019

Great course! Really enjoyed the variety of topics and the just enough computational work in the quiz's. And that Eigen hat had me smiling and laughing about it for a week.

By Shreyansh J

May 12, 2020

Fabulous course that helps students delve into the mechanics of the brain. Both instructors are amazing teachers. Towards the end ,the course also gives a flavour of DL & different paradigms of ML. However, i personally feel that although the course is very well structured, at times I felt that concepts were becoming too abstract and difficult to grasp.

A note of caution - This course requires good understanding of mathematics (Linear Algebra, Differential Eq, Probability and Statistics)

By DANIEL V

Feb 05, 2017

I very much enjoyed the course overall. Lectures from week 2 to week 5 were a little bit tedious in my opinion, not because of the content, but due to the way the lecture was presented. I suggest that by the end of the course, one could see the correct answers (with explanation) of the quizzes, since that would help learning. I enjoyed the course and I learned a lot. I thank the coursera staff and the UW faculty who made this possible.

By T Q

Nov 10, 2019

The first instructor is like Siri reading textbooks. Neither of the two instructors explained the concepts and calculations clearly. Just as another review says, they directly jump from too simple to too complicated. Overall this is one of the worst courses I have ever had.

By Varun M M

Nov 01, 2019

It is just perfect for an introductory level course! Paced sort of like a web series, it keeps you hooked throughout. I absolutely loved it, and as a Physics graduate going into the world of computational neuroscience, this course has helped me with building my comp neuro arsenal.

By Abir M

Apr 07, 2020

Exceptional exposition of topics. A lot of information packed in small bursts of lectures. Assignments demanded conceptual understanding. Overall, a very good learning experience. The best introduction to computational neuroscience I have encountered. Highly recommend the course!

By Conor M

Jun 15, 2017

This course is an excellent introduction to the field of computational neuroscience, with engaging lectures and interesting assignments that make learning the material easy.

By Amit T

May 27, 2018

This is a wonderful start for a biologist , to get idea of concepts of learning . An advanced course focused more on brain circuitry is suggested.

Thanks a lot

By Ivy T

Oct 26, 2017

I'm a professor in psychiatry with a background in clinical psychology. I conduct clinical research to understand the neural mechanisms involved in psychiatric diseases. I found the course very informative and covers topics in computational neuroscience that are critical to further my research in the computational direction.

The course involves a moderate amount of math, which is absolutely necessary to understand the materials. For someone like me who did calculus more than 20 years ago (i.e., rusty), I often found the explanation of the math too fast. I had to pause the videos multiple times to digest the formulas and re-watch some videos to get a true understanding of the materials in order to complete the quizzes successfully (especially in later weeks as the concepts get more advanced). The supplementary tutorials by Rich Pang are extremely helpful. He talks at a slower pace, allowing time for you to think along the way. He is also very good at helping you to get an intuitive understanding of the complex concepts. I would recommend watching Rich's tutorials before watching the lecture videos. That way, you would understand the lectures more readily.

The quizzes are overall well designed and helpful in terms of facilitating the consolidation of your understanding of the concepts and methods covered in that particular week. I don't know if it's just me. I tended to spend a lot more time than the estimated time (e.g., 3 hours instead of 1 hour) to complete and pass a quiz (especially later ones that involve more Matlab programming).

Overall, I found this course very useful and overall well constructed.

By shiyang t

Jul 29, 2019

Being a high school student with zero background in computer programming, i find this course a bit hard.

By Patricia R

Aug 14, 2019

Interesting but too complicated for beginners

By Julia G

Oct 01, 2017

The professors who teach the course are very engaging and are able to make a challenging topic into something interesting and entertaining. The course is very math and programming-heavy, so make sure to brush up on these concepts and be prepared to know how to conceptualize neuronal behavior with mathematical equations and programming functions and vice versa. If you have any questions to post on the Discussion Forum, be prepared to look for the answer outside of the course - the response times of the mentors or other students are horrendous and there are even some instances where questions are never answered. This, as a biology person who had little to no experience in programming or advanced calculus, was the most frustrating aspect of the course. In regards to computational neuroscience as a course, the material itself is beginner-level, but the math/programming is definitely not (more like intermediate/advanced).

By George P

Jan 13, 2018

Its a summation of summation of Conputational Neuroscience. Each week of this course could be a whole different course that really delves into the subject and not just presenting it. Video lessons were spamming you super compressed information. Some videos were sloppy and not helpful at all.

In addition, there are no helpful videos with examples-exercises that could really reinforce your learning. From the instructors I could only understand Rajesh Rao. Supplementary Video Tutorials by Rich Pang were awesomely simplistic and understandable but not enough for this course... All we need is more detailed and well explained examples...

In sort, after successfuly completing the course, I can say that I havent really learned anything. Just a glimpse of what neuroscience is all about... I ve seen better courses. I believe this course should be renamed to "An Introduction to Computational Neuroscience"

By Xiuyun W

Mar 19, 2020

I appreciate the effort of the lecturers to introduce so many interesting topics in such a short course, and the supplementary lectures by the TA are very helpful in understanding the concepts. However, as some other reviews have pointed out, the contents are too condensed and it jumped quickly from too simple to hard to understand. I guess it would be better if less topics are introduced but in more depth, or focused more on intuition under each topic rather than going into the maths without fully explaining them... I eventually reached a state of not really understanding the lecture videos but barely grasped some vague concepts. Then I can pass the quizes with full scores, without knowing what exactly I have learned or how I may apply them in real research...

By Bartłomiej L

May 23, 2017

I love the information that has been given there. The problem I have with the course (and it's a big one) is that you start each lecture with great detail and then go to what exactly you want to achieve. Because of this it was easiest for me to understand when I watched all the videos each week and then went backward to get it.

I highly recommend "start with why" videos and book by Simon Sinek, it might give you some info on how to make the lectures more comprehensive.

Having said this - the merit is great and I love having the knowledge. It is just that it isn't well laid out.

By Andrada T

Dec 02, 2019

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By Marta M

Mar 11, 2017

It was by far the best course I've taken on Coursera. For someone not dealing with math in their everyday life it could have been a bit challenging, but I really enjoyed watching how math, physics and neuroscience use the same concepts and how various models can be interchangeable.

Main subject was super-interesting, but I also enjoyed how it showcased how mathematical concepts can be used and applied. It's really disappointing that such approach is not that common in formal education many of us have received... For such interesting topics you presented I would go back to university and learned differential equations once again, seeing some purpose in them at last. I always knew that mathematics is a beautiful language, but during my education no-one showed me such profound and exciting problems to express them in it.

The instructors were great and guest lectures were fun as well. I am almost regretting choice of my everyday computer science career when hearing about problems you get to solve :) Thanks a lot! This was definitely one of the best online courses I've seen and time spent on it was not wasted.

By Maxwell G

Mar 16, 2017

I loved this course. It is an excellent introduction to the realm of Computation Neuroscience. The lecturers presented the concepts clearly and effectively. Dr. Rao was especially great. However, those looking to take this course should have some knowledge of Differential Equations, Calculus, Linear Algebra, and either Python or Matlab before taking this course.

I had not taken very much Calculus or Differential Equations prior to taking this course, and I had to do a fair amount of external research to understand some aspects of the lectures.

The professors who teach this course do a great job of explaining the concepts and ideas of the topic, rather than just reading lots of formulas. They break the math down to help the viewer intuitively understand what each one is doing. Someone taking this course who doesn’t not have that solid of a math background will have some trouble, but the course won’t be impossible. A bit of Programming experience with either Python (2 or 3) or Matlab, however is a must.

By Gal R

Nov 29, 2016

Thanks a lot for a lovely course, I rushed through it in 2 weeks in excitement. This course is not only good in its content and rigor, I also found that I was able to absorb mathematical concepts much better than I would in a pure Math class. I typically took about an hour per 20min of lecture and paused in the middle to really take in the maths, and that helped a lot. The non-academic highlight of the course was definitely Prof. Rao sense of humor. Only thing that could be nicer is the Discussion Forum which was pretty empty :( All the more reason to join in and contribute!

By Vikrant J

Mar 16, 2019

Computational Neuroscience is a well structured, insightful and methodical course. There were so many moments when I was dumbstruck by the power which our brain has, that I've lost the count of them! As a biophysics, signal processing enthusiast, I'm considering to go for higher studies in the field of Neuroscience and this course has just made my decision unequivocal. Big kudos to the instructors Prof. Rao and Prof. Fairhall for their inputs for both, the content of the course and sharing their research material! I can't wait to explore the brain to its fullest! :D