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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Model Thinking by University of Michigan

2,161 ratings

About the Course

We live in a complex world with diverse people, firms, and governments whose behaviors aggregate to produce novel, unexpected phenomena. We see political uprisings, market crashes, and a never ending array of social trends. How do we make sense of it? Models. Evidence shows that people who think with models consistently outperform those who don't. And, moreover people who think with lots of models outperform people who use only one. Why do models make us better thinkers? Models help us to better organize information - to make sense of that fire hose or hairball of data (choose your metaphor) available on the Internet. Models improve our abilities to make accurate forecasts. They help us make better decisions and adopt more effective strategies. They even can improve our ability to design institutions and procedures. In this class, I present a starter kit of models: I start with models of tipping points. I move on to cover models explain the wisdom of crowds, models that show why some countries are rich and some are poor, and models that help unpack the strategic decisions of firm and politicians. The models covered in this class provide a foundation for future social science classes, whether they be in economics, political science, business, or sociology. Mastering this material will give you a huge leg up in advanced courses. They also help you in life. Here's how the course will work. For each model, I present a short, easily digestible overview lecture. Then, I'll dig deeper. I'll go into the technical details of the model. Those technical lectures won't require calculus but be prepared for some algebra. For all the lectures, I'll offer some questions and we'll have quizzes and even a final exam. If you decide to do the deep dive, and take all the quizzes and the exam, you'll receive a Course Certificate. If you just decide to follow along for the introductory lectures to gain some exposure that's fine too. It's all free. And it's all here to help make you a better thinker!...

Top reviews


Feb 24, 2017

Great content and lectures, that possibly provides new dimensions to look/explain the situation in context, I guess I will comeback for references to continue with this journey in to 'Model Thinking'


Nov 23, 2020

very informative and insightful on how to use the various models at our disposal to take optimal decision. Also, was nostalgic to go back in time where these models were part of my university degree.

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51 - 75 of 486 Reviews for Model Thinking

By Yi D

Jan 28, 2017

Great course for quantitative social science, focusing on modeling. I recommend anyone who are interested in social science to take it to know something beyond the traditional reasoning method. I really think quantitative is the future of social science though it is not mature enough. Anyway, this course gives a great introduction, and the content is plenty.

By Nastaran A

Jul 4, 2020

There's something really amazing about having a class with Professor Page. He deeply knows how to keep a class alive! He ends his class sessions with "thank you", and now, I want to say him thank "you"! This class helped me to find my true way. I found the very thing I was seeking. I deeply appreciate it. Thanks for this great opportunity! :)))

By Ali M

Jul 14, 2019

This is a brilliant course taught by an exceptional instructor who is a passionate innovator in his field. This course not online provided me with just the right amount of "stretch" in terms of the intellectual effort needed, it also expanded the boundaries of my knowledge. You will become smarter if you take this course, I highly recommend it.

By Mariem B H

May 1, 2022

Thanks a lot Teacher! The course is awesome though it is an introductory one. I would recommend it to anyone who would like to get an overview about different mathematical models. The math inside is not complicated. The quizzes are well designed and can help you to understand better because there are explanations with each of them. Good luck!

By Prabal G

Apr 14, 2020

Its an excellent introductory course to develop model thinking capability in an intuitive and practical manner. The course is designed to supplement you cognitive abilities to analyse a variety of decisions people take in life. The instructor, course content and reading material are exceptionally good and I learnt a lot by taking this course.

By Li Z

Oct 12, 2017

This is an amazing course for high school students and undergraduate freshmen, especially for students without STEM backgrounds.

Know that it's a very basic introductory course, like an appetizer, it's up to you to research more into all those models (rigorous definition, mathematical formulae, technical papers, real-world application, etc.).

By Davidd L

Aug 24, 2017

Simply, a great surprise! Content, videos, material, answers in the Forum, Coursera help online. It's been a rewarding journey! I must Excel the materials before I am taking a new one, and I need to wait for a period where the workload is letting me put the effort needed to succeed, but I'll repeat next summer again! Highly recommended!

By Warwick T

Mar 8, 2019

This was a very interesting course. Scott Page is an excellent lecturer. The lectures often have questions in them that make sure the student understands the lecture. The reviews also ask good questions to help the student learn. One suggestion for improvement is that the lectures that have corrections in them should be recorded again.

By Joshua S

Apr 6, 2020

A fantastic course that covers a wide variety of topics. My particular interest is in mathematical models and there are plenty of those. The instructor, Scott, was really faultless. I'd recommend this course to anyone who genuinely wants to become a clearer thinker and someone who can analyse and understand the world around them.

By Paul T

May 17, 2020

I took this course as it looked interesting and even though the topic is not something I would normally use in my professional career I would highly recommend as it will give you new insights to a wide variety of different situations. There is a lot packed into the course and the lecturer is highly effective and engaging.

By Oana G

Apr 15, 2017

I have thouroughly enjoyed this course; it was a great introduction to many new concepts and reasoning frameworks and I cannot wait to dwell deeper into the technicalities of each model. Scott's lectures and explanations are easy to follow, entertaining and I liked having diverse extra readings for each topic.

By Bohdan S

Jul 15, 2019

Outstanding mind-changing introduction to the world of models. Very fertile in terms of applications. Would definitely use the lessons learned in my field — making video games. Take the course if you feel like you need to upgrade your rational thinking and learn a new stuff outside the scope of your field.

By Ryan M

Aug 29, 2021

Thank you, Sir. It's getting diffcult little by little, but it's fine, all of us will have a good knowledge about life and an improved thinking. Thank you! No worries they have been torturing me for 3 and a half years and I'm fine. Nobody dies from this if not it would be impossible to do. Be strong!

By Maria J D

Jun 29, 2021

Wow! I have learned a lot from Professor Scott E. Page!!! It is having a great teacher like him that I developed my love for analytics and mathematics!!! Everyone needs to take this course, it can change how we deal with minor and major decision-making processes. THANK YOU, Prof. Scott E. Page!!!

By Rodolphe I

Nov 18, 2016

I like it when courses are related to real life problems and thus immediately useful. And that's the case with this course. You'll not only learn some interesting ways to model things out. It will make you tick and reflect on a lot of subjects / putting things into perspectives. Long but rewarding!

By Zhenwei D

Sep 19, 2021

This course has been providing me a lot of interesting models, which enables me to be a smarter thinker, to better understand data and utilize data. Also it is beneficial to me when i need to make decisions in certain cases. Really happy and worthwhile spending weeks to get enlightened. Thank you.

By Grant C

Mar 8, 2020

An excellent introduction to using models for practical purposes. I wanted to learn about agent-based modelling, which I achieved in this course. I also learned a lot about models that I had never encountered in previous courses or reading. So I gained a lot from completing the course.

By Aleksandr

May 21, 2017

Very dinamic, interesting and useful course, that many people from various spheres of work and interests could take with benefits. Although few questions in quizzes are doubtfull, the very lections of course are great! Many thanks to Scott E. Page and all other course team members!

By Tan K M

Jul 17, 2021

This is a useful course to better understand how reality and the world works and allows me to use more mental models and perspectives of looking at the world. It has great intrinsic value though it is not as tangible or marketable, but knowing how to think is better than doing.

By Xin L

May 25, 2017

It is a valuable course that can help you grab new perspectives of thoughts on different kinds of things no matter it is regarding to economics, sociology, psychology or ecology. Comparing to other entry level courses, it is not an easy one but you can learn a lot from it.

By Matjaž J Š

Jan 10, 2023

Excellent course and especially instructor - useful for modelling beginners as well as more experienced experts from all kind of expertise-areas. Its general view and modelling area generalisation represents a great value and edge over other courses on modelling topic.

By Fernando P

Mar 17, 2019

This is an EXCELLENT CLASS. If you're someone who isn't math savvy and wants to see how math can be used in the real world, check this course out. It really helps you to see the underlying commonalities between all kinds of problems. Great course. Relatable instructor.

By Mian A H

Apr 16, 2017

Hats off to Scott E. Page et al. for putting together this amazing set of lectures and course material. The whole organization of videos, notes, readings fits together really well. I am very happy to have invested my time in this course, it has been very rewarding.

By Michael M

Jan 4, 2020

Really a great course. I wasn't sure what to expect when I signed up but was encouraged by the great reviews. I am very happy I chose to take this course. I didn't realize how informative that framing problems with models can be to gaining insight into the issue.

By Qu L

Jun 22, 2017

This is a good course to inspire my model thinking. The models in this class include daily situations. Our decisions usually follow a pattern that we may not notice. Study of this course helps me better think critically and make decisions in real-life situation.