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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Optical Efficiency and Resolution by University of Colorado Boulder

58 ratings

About the Course

This course can also be taken for academic credit as ECEA 5601, part of CU Boulder’s Master of Science in Electrical Engineering degree. Optical instruments are how we see the world, from corrective eyewear to medical endoscopes to cell phone cameras to orbiting telescopes. This course will teach you how to design such optical systems with simple mathematical and graphical techniques. The first order optical system design covered in the previous course is useful for the initial design of an optical imaging system but does not predict the energy and resolution of the system. This course discusses the propagation of intensity for Gaussian beams and incoherent sources. It also introduces the mathematical background required to design an optical system with the required field of view and resolution. You will also learn how to analyze these characteristics of your optical system using an industry-standard design tool, OpticStudio by Zemax....

Top reviews


Jul 19, 2019

The content is good, and the instructor is very responsive through email. Though I think the capstone is not as challenging as the first course.


Nov 14, 2018

The lab demonstrations were very helpful and the explanations of complex phenomena were very easy to understand.

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1 - 16 of 16 Reviews for Optical Efficiency and Resolution

By Orqa d o o

Jan 23, 2020

I loved the first course in this specialization, but this one was disappointing. Quizzes are often not precise enough in what is required as an input, so I wasted too much time on finding out how to format my answers so that grading system accepts them.

Zero response from any of the course moderators in the forums.

Strict theoretical concepts are explained nicely, but course lacks more examples of application to bridge the gap towards skills needed in homeworks.

The course did offer directions which I can use afterwards to continue to learn on my own, and I count that as a valuable thing.

By Shao-Hua W

Jun 11, 2020

There are various issues in the auto-grading system for the exams... it can be pretty exhausting trying to figure the right format of the right answers...

By Wayne L

Dec 5, 2019

This is a great course, it covers a lot of important topics with elegant explanation and impressive lab demonstrations. The homeworks are challenging, and one may usually find it very difficult at the first try, but most of them can be solved with educational return thanks to these inspiring discussion thread in responsive forum.

However, I think I have to remove one star because of the difficulty of using trial version of Zemax for capstone. The absence of saving function and stability issue (it crashes often!) make it very painful to use; you need to input ~20-30 parameters to model the system correctly, and then all in sudden a crash happens and you have to start over from zero, ouch! I would recommend other alternatives like OSLO or WinLens for the future update of this course since the concept is the same. By the way, I think there should be a filter in the course forum or it gets flooded by the recurring lecture-related posts very quickly.

By Feng-Kuo H

Jun 21, 2019

The course content is good. But the instructors had not been responsive to any question posted on the forum.

By Sudarshan K

Sep 22, 2020

lectures are not lucid. very short and incomplete explanations.

By Yujie S

Jul 20, 2019

The content is good, and the instructor is very responsive through email. Though I think the capstone is not as challenging as the first course.

By Katie M

Mar 7, 2021

Honestly the lectures are soooo nice. I learned so much from them and really enjoyed how thoughtfully they were put together. I learned a lot. The quizzes could sometimes be challenging but I felt like it was ultimately possible to at least get 60% if you understood the material. Thanks to the instructors!

By Toufik S

Jun 1, 2023

This course is very helpful to develop a good understanding of optical systems. The teacher introduces in a smooth and clear way the most important concepts of optical efficiency and resolution.

By Oberon D

Nov 14, 2018

The lab demonstrations were very helpful and the explanations of complex phenomena were very easy to understand.


Dec 31, 2021

Очень полезный курс для человека, изучающего оптику. Благодарю !!!

By Stephen W

Oct 8, 2022

Well taught, nicely organized

By Jaeseong L

May 20, 2021

no channel to communicate with instructors. Only students write in the forum.

This limits the amount of learning.

By Ivan B

Nov 19, 2020

I expected more OpticStudio intense course

By I.D

Jul 13, 2023

unfortunately, the instructor has not explained the course well. In fact, he's been trying to be humorous instead of being an edjucator. He seemed bored to teach ( this topic might be very easy for you but not easy to many! )

all in all, i've taken many courses before but this one has not giving me the excitement and satisfaction.

( to the instructor ; Please change the way you teach! and give it your all or even half! )

By Dan M

Nov 14, 2022

Material was interesting, although this module contained less OpticStudio work than the others, and appears less directed towards the design of optical systems.

By Christoph

Apr 20, 2022

As in the previous course the autograder creates a frustrating home-work-assignment experience. This frustration is joined by confusion caused by errors on the slides. Finally, I am paing for this course but did not receive a single response on my questions in the forum!