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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Mathematics for Machine Learning: Multivariate Calculus by Imperial College London

4,906 ratings
878 reviews

About the Course

This course offers a brief introduction to the multivariate calculus required to build many common machine learning techniques. We start at the very beginning with a refresher on the “rise over run” formulation of a slope, before converting this to the formal definition of the gradient of a function. We then start to build up a set of tools for making calculus easier and faster. Next, we learn how to calculate vectors that point up hill on multidimensional surfaces and even put this into action using an interactive game. We take a look at how we can use calculus to build approximations to functions, as well as helping us to quantify how accurate we should expect those approximations to be. We also spend some time talking about where calculus comes up in the training of neural networks, before finally showing you how it is applied in linear regression models. This course is intended to offer an intuitive understanding of calculus, as well as the language necessary to look concepts up yourselves when you get stuck. Hopefully, without going into too much detail, you’ll still come away with the confidence to dive into some more focused machine learning courses in future....

Top reviews

Aug 3, 2019

Very Well Explained. Good content and great explanation of content. Complex topics are also covered in very easy way. Very Helpful for learning much more complex topics for Machine Learning in future.

Nov 25, 2018

Great course to develop some understanding and intuition about the basic concepts used in optimization. Last 2 weeks were a bit on a lower level of quality then the rest in my opinion but still great.

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By Nitish K S

Jul 18, 2018

nice !

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By Rinat T

Aug 1, 2018

the part about neural networks needs improvement (some more examples of simple networks, the explanation of the emergence of the sigmoid function). exercises on partial derivatives need to be focused more on various aspects of partial differentiation rather than on taking partial derivatives of some complicated functions. I felt like there was too much of the latter which is not very efficient because the idea of partial differentiation is easy to master but not always its applications. just taking partial derivatives of some sophisticated functions (be it for the sake of Jacobian or Hessian calculation) turns into just doing lots of algebra the idea behind which has been long understood. so while some currently existing exercises on partial differentiation, Jacobian and Hessian should be retained, about 50 percent or so of them should be replaced with exercises which are not heavy on algebra but rather demonstrate different ways and/or applications in which partial differentiation is used. otherwise all good.

By yarusx

Apr 8, 2020

1) Totally British English with a bunch of very rare-used words and phrases globally. 2) The pace of the course is just not suitable for me. If you don't have strong math or engineer background you will need to search for the explanations somewhere else (khan academy - a great resource, etc.). Closer to the end of the course I stopped having a full understanding of what's going on and why. So I could calculate things, but I don't feel that I will able to that in 1-2 week because I didn't have a time and opportunity to strengthen gained skills. 3) Also I don't understand why instructors (especially David) don't visualize what they say like Sal or Grant are doing. They draw on the desk and on the plots and so on. Sometime it looks like you just listen to audio-book about the Math.

I will take Stanford ML course after this course and also review what I've learned here with Khan Academy resource.

By Vitor R C

Sep 18, 2020

Another great introduction to a very hard content that is Multivariate Calculus, including derivatives, but still good enough for someone with a very little mathematic basis to understand

One critique that I have is the lack of a smooth progression between the examples used in the video with the ones presented in the quizzes, sometimes the questions in the quiz are an entirely different order of difficulty than the ones in the videos.

Another critique is the seemly dive in quality in the content of the videos in the last two "weeks" of the course, you can see that very well because theses weeks have at most 20 min worth of videos each, even though it's supposed to be done during an entire week, and the content is very shallow, quick and hard to understand.

By JustsaiyanHS

Jan 4, 2021

A lot of the material Sam taught (first 4 weeks) felt very intuitive, his metaphors before introducing the concept and the following extrapolations into multivariate calc were easy to grasp. David teaches the last 2 weeks and I could no longer use the course as a starting point. I felt he overestimated prior knowledge of students and paced the lectures a bit too fast, often introducing 3-4 concepts in a short tangent.

That being said, I made it through with relative ease. The examples and labs were great and I used 3blue1brown / Khan Academy / calcworkshop (just the free lectures) to supplement my learning. I do have a good prior amount of CS, but most takes should feel comfortable enough in the jupyter environment.