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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Introduction to Programming with MATLAB by Vanderbilt University

15,002 ratings
3,968 reviews

About the Course

This course teaches computer programming to those with little to no previous experience. It uses the programming system and language called MATLAB to do so because it is easy to learn, versatile and very useful for engineers and other professionals. MATLAB is a special-purpose language that is an excellent choice for writing moderate-size programs that solve problems involving the manipulation of numbers. The design of the language makes it possible to write a powerful program in a few lines. The problems may be relatively complex, while the MATLAB programs that solve them are relatively simple: relative, that is, to the equivalent program written in a general-purpose language, such as C++ or Java. As a result, MATLAB is being used in a wide variety of domains from the natural sciences, through all disciplines of engineering, to finance, and beyond, and it is heavily used in industry. Hence, a solid background in MATLAB is an indispensable skill in today’s job market. Nevertheless, this course is not a MATLAB tutorial. It is an introductory programming course that uses MATLAB to illustrate general concepts in computer science and programming. Students who successfully complete this course will become familiar with general concepts in computer science, gain an understanding of the general concepts of programming, and obtain a solid foundation in the use of MATLAB. Students taking the course will get a MATLAB Online license free of charge for the duration of the course. The students are encouraged to consult the eBook that this course is based on. More information about these resources can be found on the Resources menu on the right....

Top reviews

Jun 23, 2020

I would like to thank vanderbilt university for providing such a wonderful course and i am much impressed by the use of the basic matrices in each and every programming purpose.thank you again!!!!:)))

Jun 5, 2020

Instructor of this course Mike Fitzpatrick is a very good teacher who encourage students to do something new and interesting.\n\nI really enjoyed learning this course and learned new skills in MATLAB.

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26 - 50 of 3,955 Reviews for Introduction to Programming with MATLAB

By Caleb A

May 7, 2018

As a physics/math major transitioning into mechanical engineering for my graduate degree, I enrolled in this course to refresh and refine my programming skills as well as to aid improve my MATLAB-specific skills. I had been briefly exposed to MATLAB, and had also taken some introductory courses in Python, R, and FORTRAN, but I expected to learn from this course. And it did not disappoint!

The course is well designed with an emphasis on general programming through the use of MATLAB as an interface. I believe MATLAB is probably one of the better intro programming languages to learn because its syntax is comparatively intuitive and simple for beginners compared to other languages such as FORTRAN and C/C++/C#. The primary lecturer in the course video instruction is Dr. Fitzpatrick, an adjunct professor of electrical/computer engineering who demonstrates expert level proficiency in both presenting and explaining the material. He is also, dare I say, quite a charming and witty gentleman who gave a refreshing and engaging presentation of material that may otherwise have seemed monotonous. I highly recommend the complementary course e-text, which is filled with more in-depth explanations of more advanced topics, more worked-through problems, and more practice problems with solutions. It's only $10, and it will be a great reference guide.

I will mention that the course demands a significant amount of time, especially towards the end where problems become much more complex. Even having some background in programming, it still took me much longer than the suggested homework time to work through the last several assignments. I also would have preferred the course to have a more detailed explanation of some of the aspects of MATLAB that make it stand out as a programming language, such as its plotting. I suppose much of that is included in the extensive documentation, though, and the course is designed to provide beginner programmers with the basic tools at their disposal to code. I would look forward to a more advanced sequel course that would provide further details on solving more complex problems, especially in the physical sciences, as well as outlining how some of the numerical methods of problem solving are implemented in MATLAB.

By Simone A

Apr 19, 2020

First of all, I am a chemist. I had no idea on how to start programming, therefore I started the course convinced to get some basic skills on Matlab (I had no idea on how Matlab worked) in the beginning I found it really helpful. But then at the end the assignments were really hard and quite difficult to understand for a non-proficient user. I strongly recommend to follow the first part, really helpful, but the second part probably it is more for experts in the field or students in informatic... maybe it can be useful to divide in half parts this online course. Maybe, it can be really helpful to cite the use of polyfit commands to fit functions. Really interesting until the 7th week.

By Nengah W G

May 5, 2020

This course is really an interesting experience for me...although I've known Matlab years before. The course's material has been intriguing from the beginning, with the increasing difficulties until the final exercise. I've noted that for some exercises, the most difficult part is not the coding, but to understand the question and find the proper solution. The forum surely helps a lot in handling this difficult part, but for everyone who do the course in Coursera for the first time, it's like walking in the maze...haha..

The most inspiring quote for me is from Prof. Mike Fitzpatrick, programming is a humbling and often humiliating experience..should I write it on the wall?? maybe I should haha...

Last but not least, thank you for Prof. Akos Ledeczi, Teaching Staff (sorry, I've only remembered Mr. Brendan Armstrong there, did I miss someone?) and all the Coursera team...

Good Job and Thank you very much...

By Arnab D

Sep 18, 2021

The lead instructor Mike Fitzpatrick is able to teach MATLAB in a way that it feels like a normal communication language. The course curriculum is very efficient and it is taken care of that every topic is taught in detail with utmost precision. The assignments provided are very interesting and challenge the learners to think logically and apply what they have learnt. Personally I have learnt a few languages before and never have I felt such interest from the beginning as here. Credits must also go to Akos Ledeczi for designing such a wonderful curriculum with topics arranged in increasing order of difficulty such that the new learner finds enough time to cope with with newly taught topics and master them.

Overall a wonderful experience!

By Felipe R M

Aug 14, 2020

It is a fantastic course. You will learn from the very basic features of programming such as data types up to complex arrays and mathematic calculations. Professor Fitzpatrick will also teach you everything about loops and conditional statements. Besides that, the tests you need to pass and the assignments you need to complete are quite educative and they show you the expected answer when the assignment is particularly difficult.

By Ali B

Mar 16, 2021

This course help students to learn the basics of Matlab language and how to write simple and efficient programs. It gives a good view of the Matlab environment and programming process. It is much better if the quality of the videos goes higher when they have downloaded. I thank Mr.Mike Fitzpatric and Mr.Akos Ledeczi and Coursera's team for providing this wonderful course.

By ahmed k

May 17, 2020

The first thing you will notice in this course that , the lessons are easy to understand and assignments are fun and worth digging hard.

and the staff members(Mr.Brandon Armstrong) are avalible .

a good introduction !

By Satyendra k J

Aug 13, 2020

Extremely well written tutorials,real world problems,and an excellent theme background music makes this course a must for every MATLAB programming enthusiast.

By Sudhanshu S

May 1, 2021

Professor Mike Fitzpatrick has good humour. No doubt this is an excellent course even for a beginner in programming.

By Prateek G

Apr 20, 2020

A well structured course in MATLAB that stars from basics and accelerates to advance problems.

By Sina D

Sep 18, 2021

The course was truly perfect. My endless gratitude to professors Fitzpatric and Ledeczi.

By mayank k

May 3, 2021

if you're looking for MATLAB courses this is the best one

By Mert Z

Jul 30, 2020

It is a really informative course overall, the assignments are interesting and generally not boring, however some of the assignments need more clarification. Digging for info from discussions is an experience on its own but that can discourage people from completing the course and giving up on programming entirely so that seems like it needs some improvements. Fitzpatrick is a great instructor and tries to keep the videos chill and a bit more enjoyable and to be honest he made me laugh out loud a couple of times. Other instructors seem to help people taking the course regularly on the discussion forums so don't be afraid to ask questions there. Thank you for the great course. <3

By MD. T I

Feb 26, 2020

The 'About the course' section is partially true.It was ,in the beginning, felt like being really for the beginners, but nearing the end of the course, the assignments were not anymore for the beginners.Whereas the instructor taught with great effort, the difficulty of the assignments should have been taken into consideration beforehand and examples similar to the tasks should have been included therefore.When the course can be enthralling for someone already have proficiency over other languages, the majority of the beginner would find it near impossible to solve the assignments and achieve the certificate by following ethical coding.

By Panagiotis I

May 16, 2020

Good videos, the assignments were too heavy for non-used people to these topics (maths etc). I would prefer shorter assignments focused on programming and solving simple conceptually topics though with the use of code gradually getting more difficult.

The three stars are given mainly for the videos and the effort to make it comprehensive. More informative slides would be needed as well. This way people would be able to review key things faster/more efficiently.

By Rajat R

Jun 12, 2020

the course instructor was very friendly , very expressive , he made all concepts very clear

but one thing i want to add is that add some videos on explaining some more advanced plotting debugging and file input/output.

By Martha T

Jun 4, 2020

I am sure this is a great course for someone who has been exposed to computer programing somehow.

I was way ahead of my assignments and watched the lectures at 3X each chapter before getting to my assignments.

I got to a roadblock on week 4 and I am unable to move because the assignments have gone from 0-60 without much input. I am able to claim that because many others, who btw seem to be a bit more educated in the matter, experienced difficulties.

I understand the moderators can't just give out answers, but they just become robotic in their answers.

I am very glad I did not pay for a certificate. Otherwise, I would have wasted both my time and my money. I am out $10 for the book, though.

My advice is: don't take this class unless you know "something" about programming.

By Peter d B

Jun 4, 2020

Teaches neither programming nor MATLAB effectively. Videos are too long and useless for the assignments. Very disappointing. I worked all the way to Week 7 and got 100& on all assignments. Then the lectures and assignments started to come from different worlds and the course became torture (which most people who like programming seem to accept and even enjoy; I don't.)

By Pamela P

Apr 27, 2018

The videos are good, but have no relationship to the homework problems. There are too many problems per week, and they are very difficult given there are no examples in either the videos or book that cover the material examined in the homework. The entire course was just frustrating.

By Anna S

Jun 11, 2020

The instructor is incredibly self-obsessed and just unbearable. All the 'jokes' are neither funny nor useful. Just stick to teaching if you have to.

By Saiful A

Aug 30, 2016

Boring Professor

By Eisuke I

Mar 7, 2020


By Amy Z

Oct 7, 2019

This is a fabulous course. It was exactly what I was looking for. Although of course it won't suit everyone's needs, I think it succeeds in providing a broad overview of basic Matlab functionality in a short period of time. I appreciate the instructor's self-deprecating humor, which is just enough to keep things light without detracting from the purpose of the class. The forum is great, and I always found T.A. responses to be prompt and helpful—kudos to those unsung heroes of education!

I had a bit of an unusual experience with the course in that I actually began it in December 2018 while on a school break, but had to stop after Week 7 when my university classes resumed. I wasn't able to return to this course until September 2019, at which time I began at the very start again and completed all 9 weeks. What I found is that the format of the class had changed in the interim. Both the earlier and the current formats are fine, and most of the lecture material is the same, but there are a few notable differences. Now, assignments are interspersed with the lectures, rather than being clustered at the end of each week. It seems to me that as a consequence there's a bit of misalignment between lecture material and the assignments on occasion, and it might be good to review that to get a better mesh. Also, the grader has changed. I like both the old and the new grader format equally well, but it would be good to be able to see the test conditions for each test case in the new grader, which (as I recall) students were able to do in the previous format. Lastly, my impression is that in the new format there are fewer assignments overall, and I would suggest to the instructor that the number of assignments could be increased. To sum up, nothing is perfect, but I really don't think you'll find a better introduction to Matlab. Highly, highly recommended.

By Devarshi P

May 27, 2020

After doing a lot of research online, I feel fortunate to have come across this course. It is a perfect introduction for anyone to get ready to make excellent use of all tools/capability available with Matlab for practical purposes, especially in science and engineering field. The instructors have really thought through on how to expose programming concept and Matlab concept to someone with almost zero experience. If you sincerely finish this course, including all the exercises you are way ahead of the crowd. Even the textbook (optional) is offered at a student friendly prices. The concepts in textbook covered great breadth & depth of real-world problems that can be tackled with Matlab. This is much more than plain-n-simple Matlab Onramp course. It really prepares you to go deep into Matlab if you wish upon completion of course.

Many people complain of difficulty of final exercises. But without that you won't be able to tackle real world engineering problems. So these assignments strongly make you think logically on how to make best use of function of Matlab. The stronger the training, the better prepared one becomes.

Thanks a ton Prof. Fitzpatrick & Prof. Ledeczi. You have delivered more than what you committed. We are thankful to have gotten exposure to this seasoned class being taught for decades at Vanderbilt.

By Özgür Z

Jun 27, 2016

This is the only one course, I have paid for certificate. I liked most of the course. Instructor has a unique way of teaching Matlab. He started Matlab basics. After that, he had shown functions. The reason of showing functions at the very first times was to evaluate the problems. I am so surprised when I have seen the usage of column operator in such different ways. Course was followed by decision structures, loops, strings and file I/O. The course content was well prepared. Video lectures are quite helpful. Especially, 1 hour problem solving example video was so beneficial. However, at the end of the course, problems become quite challenging and time consuming. In first 6 problem set, my success rate was 100%. But, in last two week's problems I was able to solve only 5 of 8. The problems become difficult to understand, there were not enough explanations or hints. Discussion pages were not useful some times. I had to make further research on internet to understand the problem and it was time consuming. In the new version of the course, it would be better if problems are clear to understand.

In short, the Instructors and Mentors did great job. Do I suggest this course to anyone else? The answer is definitely YES! Thank you.