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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Machine Learning: Classification by University of Washington

2,883 ratings
479 reviews

About the Course

Case Studies: Analyzing Sentiment & Loan Default Prediction In our case study on analyzing sentiment, you will create models that predict a class (positive/negative sentiment) from input features (text of the reviews, user profile information,...). In our second case study for this course, loan default prediction, you will tackle financial data, and predict when a loan is likely to be risky or safe for the bank. These tasks are an examples of classification, one of the most widely used areas of machine learning, with a broad array of applications, including ad targeting, spam detection, medical diagnosis and image classification. In this course, you will create classifiers that provide state-of-the-art performance on a variety of tasks. You will become familiar with the most successful techniques, which are most widely used in practice, including logistic regression, decision trees and boosting. In addition, you will be able to design and implement the underlying algorithms that can learn these models at scale, using stochastic gradient ascent. You will implement these technique on real-world, large-scale machine learning tasks. You will also address significant tasks you will face in real-world applications of ML, including handling missing data and measuring precision and recall to evaluate a classifier. This course is hands-on, action-packed, and full of visualizations and illustrations of how these techniques will behave on real data. We've also included optional content in every module, covering advanced topics for those who want to go even deeper! Learning Objectives: By the end of this course, you will be able to: -Describe the input and output of a classification model. -Tackle both binary and multiclass classification problems. -Implement a logistic regression model for large-scale classification. -Create a non-linear model using decision trees. -Improve the performance of any model using boosting. -Scale your methods with stochastic gradient ascent. -Describe the underlying decision boundaries. -Build a classification model to predict sentiment in a product review dataset. -Analyze financial data to predict loan defaults. -Use techniques for handling missing data. -Evaluate your models using precision-recall metrics. -Implement these techniques in Python (or in the language of your choice, though Python is highly recommended)....

Top reviews


Oct 16, 2016

Hats off to the team who put the course together! Prof Guestrin is a great teacher. The course gave me in-depth knowledge regarding classification and the math and intuition behind it. It was fun!


Jan 25, 2017

Very impressive course, I would recommend taking course 1 and 2 in this specialization first since they skip over some things in this course that they have explained thoroughly in those courses

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326 - 350 of 447 Reviews for Machine Learning: Classification

By Ragunandan R M

Sep 17, 2018

Good overall course.

By Fahad S

Nov 03, 2018

The content was excellent and the exercises were really good. It would be better if svms and bayesian classifiers are also covered

By Lorenzo L

Aug 31, 2018

Good, funny and super-clear professors introduce you to the main classification techniques out there (except for neural networks). Great if you are approaching this field and want to know more before deciding if you really want to invest a lot in it. 4 stars because it would have been better with more popular python packages than GraphLab.

By Kishaan J

Jul 01, 2017

Really loved this course! The insights into decision trees and precision-recall couldn't have been any better! Thank you!

By Oleg R

Oct 09, 2016

I would prefer more complex assignments and more advanced math concepts in the course. Otherwise it is great.

By Hanqiao L

Aug 09, 2016

Need more content for SVM and Random Forest

By Alessio D M

Apr 17, 2016

The course is definitely high-quality and the topics are covered in a good way. I'm not giving 5 stars because I would have expected SVMs and neural networks. Mentioning the many different algorithms for learning decision trees would have been nice, without necessarily focusing on each of them in depth. An entire week spent on precision/recall seems a little bit too much, without touching other metrics like F-score. Overall though a very nice course for beginners, and it definitely gives a good sense of classification challenges and approaches.

By Brian B

Apr 22, 2016

Great course. I'm really looking forward to learn more about clustering in the next course since I know nearly nothing about clustering.

By Karen B

Jul 30, 2016

The course covers many aspects of classification, with each section building on the one before. The lectures cover the theory, with a little bit of practical information, fairly well. The instructor tries to make the lectures interesting, and they are.

The quizzes seem designed both to reinforce what the lectures taught and to expand on them. The quizzes, particularly those based on programming, could use proofreading by someone newer to the subject.

By serge b

Jul 02, 2016



Mar 02, 2017

The course 3 got pretty technical pretty soon. Enjoyed the first 2 courses without feeling overwhelmed. But course 3 was challenging. I suppose building the expectation of what is to come can reduce the challenge and lead to faster and more number of course completions.


Jan 26, 2018

Some instructions in programming assignments are not clear.

By Alberto J L R

Oct 12, 2017

Good Mooc

By Anand B

Aug 07, 2017

Great course!

By Michael B

Sep 04, 2016

Good survey of the material, but assignments are superficial.

By Yingnan X

Apr 14, 2016

A good course to start learning classifications and getting exposure to algorithms. The instructor is awesome!!

By Franklin W

May 04, 2017

Great beginner/advanced course for Machine Learning Classification!

By George P

Oct 23, 2017

It explains nicely a lot of useful topics and gives you the tools to build real world applications. It even explains precision recall and boosting which could be confusing in an easy to digest way.

4/5 stars because the course could include multiple levels of difficulty for the programming assignment tasks. The task by default were very guided and a keen student would like to explore and build them from scratch or at least in a less guided way.

Positive experience overall

By Anjan P

Apr 29, 2016

Excellent course that details important concepts in supervised classification. The programming assignments can be a little easy to complete (and consequently easy to forget later), but I believe it's a well paced course and the lecture material is at any incredibly accessible pace, with options for more advanced material.

One suggestion would be to include more papers for additional technical details in the lecture or programming assignments as you did with dealing with unbalanced data.

By Hanif S

Jun 02, 2016

Highly recommended course, looking under the hood to examine how popular ML algorithms like decision trees and boosting are actually implemented. I'm surprised at how intuitive the idea of boosting really is. Also interesting that random forests are dismissed as not as powerful as boosting, but I would love to know why! Both methods appear to expose more data to the learner, and a heuristic comparison between RF and boosting would have been greatly appreciated.

One can immediately notice the difference between statistician Emily, who took us through the mathematical derivation of the derivative (ha.ha.) function for linear regression (much appreciated Emily!), and computer scientist Carlos, who skipped this bit for logistic regression but provided lots of verbose code to track the running of algorithms during assignments (helps to see what is actually happening under the hood). Excellent lecturers both, thank you!

By Lim W A

Nov 21, 2016

Learnt new things.

By Luiz C

Jun 07, 2018

Clear, good engaging videos, good quality/complexity balance of exercises

By Craig B

Dec 19, 2016

Not as evenly paced as the first two courses. Also some material was covered at a very high level, whilst I found that some explanations did not immediately build on my understanding gained through the foundation course, but rather confused it. Still a worthwhile course nonetheless. I look forward to the rest in the specialisation.

By Jacob M L

Jun 24, 2016

Very approachable material, given the diversity of classification algorithms.

By Hexuan Z

Oct 06, 2016

could be more challengable homework!!