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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Computational Thinking for Problem Solving by University of Pennsylvania

4.7
stars
1,043 ratings
362 reviews

About the Course

Computational thinking is the process of approaching a problem in a systematic manner and creating and expressing a solution such that it can be carried out by a computer. But you don't need to be a computer scientist to think like a computer scientist! In fact, we encourage students from any field of study to take this course. Many quantitative and data-centric problems can be solved using computational thinking and an understanding of computational thinking will give you a foundation for solving problems that have real-world, social impact. In this course, you will learn about the pillars of computational thinking, how computer scientists develop and analyze algorithms, and how solutions can be realized on a computer using the Python programming language. By the end of the course, you will be able to develop an algorithm and express it to the computer by writing a simple Python program. This course will introduce you to people from diverse professions who use computational thinking to solve problems. You will engage with a unique community of analytical thinkers and be encouraged to consider how you can make a positive social impact through computational thinking....

Top reviews

J
Dec 18, 2018

Excellent course for beginners with enough depth, programming and computational theory to increase their computer science knowledge to a higher level. It builds a good foundation of how computers work

AW
Feb 3, 2019

The course is very well-designed and it helped me develop understand how to apply computational thinking in solving various types of problems as well as acquire basic skills of programming in Python.

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51 - 75 of 363 Reviews for Computational Thinking for Problem Solving

By Zachary T

Sep 21, 2020

I overthought several parts towards the beginning just based on my experience, and wish a couple of questions were more clear (e.g. is modifying a variable and reassigning a variable to a different value the same thing? in part 3). I had had someone grading it that was more experienced and spoke my language natively (and I'm sure the feelings are mutual!) but even though I've been studying Python for a few months I learned a few things, especially in the parts on machine language, and also that putting ideas in flowchart form is a good way to impose rigor on one's ideas.

By Bo-yun L

Apr 22, 2020

I've done several intro-level courses In Python programming before but this Is by far the most systematic Introduction to programming I have taken. Even though we didn't do any real programming until week 4 of the course, everything leading up to actual programming was every bit as valuable as learning the actual strokes of programming Itself, If not more valuable as It recalibrates ones brain to break from the normal patterns of Intuitive thinking. I can't wait to begin using what I learned on the job and learn more programming concepts.

By Laurent M

Feb 4, 2021

I recommend this course for people who want to have a solid base before learning a programming language, or for people who are not yet sure in what direction to go (computer science/data science/programming/web development)

The course teaches you the basics of how a computer thinks and how you can use this logical system yourself. I had zero experience with programming. Although because of that the fourth week took me significantly more time and effort than the first three, it was just the amount of challenge I needed. Great course!

By Gaurav K

Aug 11, 2019

A well-structured course to explain computational thinking which can be applied to any complex problem in life (not just IT related). A good lesson on computer architecture to get an understanding on how computers work (was fascinating to know what binary number system means that is used to develop all these complex systems/apps we are surrounded by). It also covers basics of python programming language (Quizzes on them were challenging but exciting part of the course). Look forward to further computer science learning

By Wenfei Z

Oct 1, 2020

Unlike other MOOC programming courses offered, this one teaches you how to think instead of how to follow step by step tutorial. Background in programming would be a very nice thing to have, and homework and projects would be quite challenging for those without prior exposure. The course could be really improved by offering more programming exercises and perhaps more test cases to debug student assignments. Overall, I think this is a good intro course, even for those who already have a background in programming.

By Алексей Е

May 27, 2021

This is a good course if you are going to start your career in IT or if you want to look at programming from the scientific point of view. The real-world examples for this course demonstrated of using computational thinking are as unexpected as interesting. I've understood that computational thinking is more than developing apps. It's a sort of thinking to solve any problems. Finally I wish to express my appreciation to the tutors, Susan Davidson and Chris Murphy, for such amazing experience. Thanks!

By Kimberly O

Nov 14, 2019

This is an exciting course to take and if you are persistent you shall succeed. It really made me flex my brain muscles. This course made me realise how much I love the IT field and gives me motivation to return to this field professionally. I look forward to taking more courses with UPenn. Also, the Teaching Staff gave excellent advice on solving one of my issues in coding. It required no clarification once I took a second revisit at his comments. Thank you for this experience.

By Caleb B

Jul 21, 2019

Compelling lectures paired with practical implementations to reinforce computer science concepts forwarded by Professor Davidson and Professor Murphy makes this course truly stand out among my 5 years of graduate education. The online context allows for both efficient and expedient learning accessible to anyone with an internet connection. I've already began to contrive solutions to real world problems I face daily as a physician using the knowledge acquired from this course. 5/5.

By Holden B W

Nov 11, 2018

Computational Thinking for Problem Solving is one of the best courses I have taken thus far on Coursera. The course is extremely organized, yet challenging (for non-CS majors) and forces one to learn a multitude of concepts that are prevalent in our world today. Hats off to the team at Penn Engineering for creating such a transformative, creative and intuitive approach to computational thinking, and applying the lesson material to real-world problems and solutions.

Best,

Holden

By Pauline A G H

May 19, 2019

Even just after finishing week 1, I have noticed an improvement in how I go about the challenges in my work as I was already able to apply the basic concepts of computational thinking. The simplicity of their lectures even as they go through detailed explanations has helped me in understanding the concept and application of this course. I would definitely recommend this. In fact, I already did recommend it to some of my colleagues as I was taking it.

By Greg C

Sep 20, 2019

This was an exceptional course, I learned a lot about the basics of computational thinking, how to break down problems into smaller problems and tackle them one step at a time. You don't realize how much you actually use computational thinking in real-life until you take this course. It progressed to more difficult topics throughout the course but as long as you read the instructions thoroughly you will be able to complete everything without help.

By Andrew H

Jul 5, 2020

This is a challenging course, with a high volume of assignments. I would suggest doing this course by itself (not working on other courses at the same time.) Good progression of instruction and easy explanations. The week 4 programming assignments are challenging and sometimes frustrating, but that goes with it being new. I was able to complete them all within a week without extra assistance, checking the forum a few times.

By Nathan S K

May 13, 2019

This was an excellent course. The instructors are very thorough and patient in their explanations of the topics. Having taken online courses previously, I felt that the approach of learning first how to think like a programmer, then finally executing code once that foundation was laid, helped me better understand how these concepts could be scaled and structured to fit a variety of real-world scenarios. Thank you!

By Ali E

Apr 26, 2020

The course content is really great. It's kind of a crash course of all the parts of a problem-solving in computational thinking. I was surprised that this course content included analyzing algorithms as well in such a short time. That's great! The instructors explained many concepts clearly. I recommend this course since everyone needs to think in a computational way in today's world.

By Megan H

Sep 2, 2019

This is an excellent course for beginners. As a beginner, I appreciated the focus on fundamentals before tackling programming projects. The Python exercises were particularly helpful to me as a beginner: they illustrated the fundamentals and gave me great practice with computational thinking and debugging. I also appreciate the course's emphasis on real-life applications of computing.

By Siyu H

Feb 13, 2019

The course offers me a taste of computer science. By studying the course, I can improve my problem solving skills by adopting a structured method. In addition, the course gave me experience of programming in python, a popular language at present. I highly recommend this course to people who are not familiar with programming and want to learn more knowledge in this field.

By Ethan L

May 18, 2019

What a great introduction to Computer Science. I've been a programmer for a couple of years and know Python pretty well. This course was helpful for understanding the more fundamental concepts I experience every day, e.g. sorting lists. Most of Python logic is abstracted away from the user so it's great to take this course to see what's under the hood.

By Jonathan M

Mar 24, 2020

I've taken multiple Coursera courses, and this one is *extremely* well-done and very, very professional. The production of videos is very high (even kind of artistic?), the assignments/prompts are applied to real-world scenarios (and are also used as a string throughout the entirety of the course), and the instruction is organized, concise, and clear.

By Christopher S

Jul 19, 2021

E​xtremely useful foundation course for anyone considering Computer Science as a career. The learnings from this course are applicable for further studies and for real world computation problems. Thanks for taking the efforts to compile this course. This course motivated me to enrol in MCIT and looking forward to the courses in the masters degree.

By David C

Feb 25, 2020

I think this is a great course to take if you are considering getting into the world of coding. It teaches you how to think and approach problems from a computer science point of view. The progression of the material is well thought out and they use plenty of common, everyday examples to demonstrate what you are learning. Definitely recommend!!

By olufemi a

May 22, 2020

Great course! Very engaging - can't wait to take more computational courses. Very gentle introduction to high-level computational thinking. Ramps up a bit in difficulty by Week 4, and requires twice as much time as previous weeks (mostly on coding and debugging).

Jennifer Yen (TA) was very helpful with fixing a bug in my code. Thank you!

By Jonathan M

Feb 25, 2020

This course was very informative. It starts off with more general strategies about problem-solving in general, and as the course develops, it becomes apparent how these relate to computing. Each segment builds upon the information presented in the previous so that at the end it makes sense why the solutions presented are what they are.

By Ibrahim E

Nov 20, 2019

If there is one thing I learned from this course it is that learning how to code does not always mean thinking computationally. Practically speaking, this course has content that can be applicable from day one. If you are interested in knowing how the story began or understand programming from the roots, this is the place to start.

By Ingrid L

Sep 21, 2020

This was an excellent course. I thoroughly enjoyed the real-world examples, and ample opportunities to practice and test each module. I learned a tremendous amount, and would recommend this course for anyone interested in logical thinking and problem solving; not just for science, but in many other areas of academics, and life!

By Peter S

May 6, 2021

I was happy with this course. Lots of great content and challenges. For the Python programming part, which is week 4, I would have appreciated more study materials and guidance. Also, the course takes longer to complete than estimated. But, in any case thank you UPenn, it was fun, engaging and insightful.