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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Computational Neuroscience by University of Washington

1,008 ratings

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


Apr 7, 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


Jun 10, 2020

Brilliant course. For a HS student the math was challenging, but the quizzes and assignments were perfect. The tutorials and supplementary materials are super helpful. All in all, I loved it.

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26 - 50 of 240 Reviews for Computational Neuroscience

By Abir M

Apr 7, 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 Jacob B

May 25, 2019

I really enjoyed this course and think that there was a good variety of material that allowed people of many different backgrounds to take at least one thing away from this.

By Philipp A R

Oct 29, 2021

The course itself is interesting and most lectures are well done. However, the difficulty of the material increases dramatically after a few weeks in, requiring a good understanding of differential equations / calculus / linear algebra / statistics. Even with some prior knowledge, I had a tough time and will probably do the course a second time.

By Cezary W

Sep 27, 2017

Quite interesting. I would see more explanation of some phenomena, though.

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 Xiaowei(William) L

Jul 22, 2021

This course is super sketchy. Many assumptions without explanation... It's not suitable for beginners. I completed this course only because I don't want to give up after starting. Two stars for the time of everyone who's behind this course.

By Andrada T

Dec 2, 2019


By Siwa S

Aug 8, 2021

Horrible course ever. Really hard to follow; the course goes from simple to very complex in seconds.

- The explanation was not clear and material doesn't foster learner to understand what is going on.

- I keep learning until week 4th Then I decided to quite this course.

If it is not require you to enroll this course, do not waste your time and money in this course.

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 Max 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 Victor G O M

Jul 5, 2020

Very insightful course! It requires a little bit of statistical and calculus base, but nothing that some extra studying can't help. The course is also accompanied by a set of supplementary lectures that are very helpful as well. I recommend for those who are starting the course now to go through the supplementary material before starting the lectures.

The course opened my mind a lot about the computational neuroscience field. I can say without a doubt that this course grew a love for the field inside me, which I will keep studying from the referred books and materials. I hope to get started working on my own projects using what I learned pretty soon.

Thanks for Rajesh and Adrienne for this amazing course!

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

By Shwetank P

Apr 27, 2019

This course will be one of the most satisfying pursuits for any individual interested in exploring the intersection of neurobiology, AI and Statistics. The course is really well-rounded covering all major portions in the computational neuroscience. The supplementary material provided for exploration is really intriguing and a must go for people interested in understanding the gory details behind the equations. Hands down! this one is the best MOOC experience so far for me.

By Sergey A R

Nov 4, 2016

Te course captures from the very beginning!

The lectures and work with REAL data (despite it's obvious simplicity) will hold you till the end.

The confirmation of the theory, calculated with my own hands, with the practical results from the laboratories.

It's just a first step, the next one is in supplemental materials, and then proceed farther and farther.

Well, and a fly in the ointment :) a lack of programming through the course, we can do more! :)

By Iván E A

Dec 22, 2019

This course is an introduction to the vast field of computational neuroscience. Every week the subject is different. I found the supplementary videos very helpful on their own, explaining concepts like entropy, probability distributions, gradient descent, and more.

I have completed several Coursera courses, and this has the best kind of weekly tests (homework). I enjoyed the coding and felt that It made the concepts clearer.

By Prachi S

Dec 13, 2020

The course provided deep insight into various aspects of brain and how we can use our knowledge of mathematics and physics to understand the biology and mechanism of brain. The assignments helped me to understand the course better and kept me motivated throughout the course. It encouraged me to know in further details about this interesting field of computational neuroscience.

By André M

Nov 20, 2016

Excellent course, looking forwards to going back over the lectures and consolidating what I've learnt. Big word of thanks to Rajesh and Adrienne, but also to TA Rich Pang, who does an excellent job getting you up to speed on the maths. Very excited about what I've learnt in the course and the way it's made me look at neuroscience in a new and richer way.

By Daniel B

Dec 2, 2016

Phenomenal course. My background is in mechanical engineering, but all the biological concepts were explained clearly and concisely. I wish a bit more modeling in Matlab was done, but overall I'm very pleased with the course. A solid background in linear algebra, statistics, and some basic calculus is recommended to get the most out of the course.

By Diego B

Apr 7, 2017

I must admit that, before starting this course, I was skeptic about an online course on Computational Neuroscience. My initial feelings totally reversed during the first weeks of the course. I really appreciated the effort of Rajesh and Adrienne to explain the complex mechanisms of neurons and brain functions in a clear and enjoyable way.

By Julieth L C

Sep 11, 2020

I really liked these course, the mathematical component was very complete like the biological component, my only problem was that there was an exercise that I never could understand at all, I'd like a more clear feedback. However in general I recomend the course, the professors are really good. Thank you.

By Amir Y

Aug 1, 2017

I greatly enjoyed this course. It has a nice structure, and the progress is quite reasonable assuming you have decent background in linear algebra and calculus derivations. They still offer great supplementary resources for those lacking necessary background knowledge. Overall, I'd recommend it.

By AmirHossein E

Mar 26, 2017

This course is an absolute must for those interested in computational neuroscience. The professors are very knowledgeable and the course is very rigorous. The techniques introduced in this course are useful and the supplementary material is enough to last for you months of reading on this topic.

By Deepak R V

Dec 1, 2020

One of the most enjoyable and intriguing course, Prof. Rajesh Rao, Prof.Adrennie fairhall and team, put great efforts and the course is very well executed.

The quizzes are awesome.

A great learning experience

#Brain #Information_Theory #Dynamical_systems #SIgnal Processing #Machine_learning

By Rohit P

Jun 4, 2020

Good work by both the tutors. I really like how simple and easy to understand the course module was here, however i wish that Matlab and Python tutorials were a bit more approachable and so i would suggest other learners to look into and sharpen their Math skills before taking this one!

By Matthew W

Jun 23, 2019

As a beginning PhD student in computational neuroscience, I found this course to be incredibly useful as a refresher. And as an introduction to the subject, it is incredibly engaging, interesting and, of course, one fun adventure! Many thanks to both Rajesh and Adrienne for this course!