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

4.0
1,174 ratings
248 reviews

About the Course

This intermediate-level course introduces the mathematical foundations to derive Principal Component Analysis (PCA), a fundamental dimensionality reduction technique. We'll cover some basic statistics of data sets, such as mean values and variances, we'll compute distances and angles between vectors using inner products and derive orthogonal projections of data onto lower-dimensional subspaces. Using all these tools, we'll then derive PCA as a method that minimizes the average squared reconstruction error between data points and their reconstruction. At the end of this course, you'll be familiar with important mathematical concepts and you can implement PCA all by yourself. If you’re struggling, you'll find a set of jupyter notebooks that will allow you to explore properties of the techniques and walk you through what you need to do to get on track. If you are already an expert, this course may refresh some of your knowledge. The lectures, examples and exercises require: 1. Some ability of abstract thinking 2. Good background in linear algebra (e.g., matrix and vector algebra, linear independence, basis) 3. Basic background in multivariate calculus (e.g., partial derivatives, basic optimization) 4. Basic knowledge in python programming and numpy Disclaimer: This course is substantially more abstract and requires more programming than the other two courses of the specialization. However, this type of abstract thinking, algebraic manipulation and programming is necessary if you want to understand and develop machine learning algorithms....

Top reviews

JS

Jul 17, 2018

This is one hell of an inspiring course that demystified the difficult concepts and math behind PCA. Excellent instructors in imparting the these knowledge with easy-to-understand illustrations.

JV

May 01, 2018

This course was definitely a bit more complex, not so much in assignments but in the core concepts handled, than the others in the specialisation. Overall, it was fun to do this course!

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26 - 50 of 244 Reviews for Mathematics for Machine Learning: PCA

By Ruarob T

Jun 30, 2019

Make sure you have time and be ready for python code debug. If you are just an average programmer with limited python exposure like me. It will take you a day to complete the programming assignment.

Note: the assignment and class VDO seems a distant - google a lot during the assignment/quiz

Note: Programming has little clue - personally, I think I spend so much time on programming (distracting me away from going back to Math review)

By Andrea V

Jun 22, 2019

This course is hard, and contains a lot of mathematical derivations and concepts that might be overwhelming for somebody not completely fresh in maths. Nevertheless, it offers a good balance between rigour and practical application, and if some lectures turn out to be too complicated, there's always the chance to deepen the matter more quitely using the course material or online resources. I think that the course would have benefited from a more aneddoctical approach at times: for instance restating in english what the general purpose of PCA is, could help the less mathematically inclined to better seize the idea. But I know this is not always easy to do.

By Yiqing W

Mar 28, 2019

The teaching is good but some programming assignment is not so good

By Narongdej S

Jun 29, 2019

Confusing for beginners; the explanations are too abrupt

By Shilin G

Jun 27, 2019

Not as good as previous two courses. I understand it is an intermediate course, but still, the video does not help you do the quiz, e.g. the video uses 2x2 matrices for example while quiz is mainly about 3x3 - then why not include a 3x3 example? Programming assignment is not clear either, some places you have to change the shape of matrix but it is not explained why this is necessary (and actually it is not). A lot of room for improvement here.

By Ustinov A

May 28, 2019

Unfortunately, mistakes in grader and a bad python environment spoilt the impression. I lose hours because of it during 1, 2 and 4 week. It's not enough exercises last week. You should add more examples for every step of PCA for better understanding.

By Andrei

Nov 01, 2018

terrible assignments

By Patrick F

Feb 01, 2019

The programming tasks are very bad documented and have errors.

By Yana K

Apr 18, 2019

Not really well structured. Too much in-depth details, too little intuition given. Didn't help to understand PCA. Had to constantly look for other resources online. Pity, because first 2 courses in the specialisation were really good.

By Ong J R

Aug 11, 2018

Concepts weren't taught well and programming exercises are full of errors. Very difficult to debug and find out if I am on track during the programming exercises. Lecturer lacks passion and ability to convey core concepts well to audience. Hard to follow up on the mathematical derivation with the simple stuff that we were taught in module 1 and 2.

By 용석 권

Jan 30, 2019

Programming assignments' quality is too bad to follow it. Their lecture's explanation and assignments' notation are not matched. Moreover, the code is sometimes ridiculous.

By Naveen K

Aug 09, 2018

I've finished all the two previous courses in this specialization.I was shocked at seeing the content and programming assignments given to us.It was totally different.They expect a lot from us.Content is not up to the mark.First two courses was awesome.But this course is an exact opposite to the first two.Totally disappointed!! I was hoping to finish this specialization.But it seems I cannot. I didn't expect this.

By Valeria B

Jun 26, 2019

Too few examples given during the lessons. More examples could greatly improve understanding and the solution of quizzes and programming assignment.

I had to integrate this course with multiple sources I looked up for by myself, so I'm really wondering if I wisely spent my money on this course.

By Rachel S

Jul 09, 2019

After the first two courses in the specialisation, this one was truly disappointing. You are warned at the beginning that this course is challenging. This is true, but there is absolutely no reason why it should be THIS challenging. There are several factors that make this course more difficult than it needs to be. The poor pacing leads to a bizarre mix of repetitive trivial questions and vague assignments with poor explanation and over-reliance on reading external sources. Nobody wants constant hand-holding but the lack of direction will lead to you wasting far too much time chasing down minor technical errors and figuring out what on earth is being asked of you. Finishing this course was a slog and I just wanted to wash my hands of it. The first two courses in this specialisation are great and I highly recommend them, but I would not be happy if I had paid £38 for this course.

By Aymeric N

Nov 25, 2018

This course demystifies the Principal Components Analysis through practical implementation. It gives me solid foundations for learning further data science techniques.

By Naggita K

Dec 19, 2018

Great course. Rich well explained material.

By imran s

Dec 20, 2018

Great Coverage of the Topic

By Hasan A

Dec 31, 2018

What a great opportunity this course offers to learn from the best in this simplified manner. Thank you Coursera and Imperial College London!

By Xi C

Dec 31, 2018

Great course. Cover rigorous materials.

By Akshaya

Jan 25, 2019

This was a tough course. But worth it.

By Natalya T

Feb 25, 2019

exellent course! nice python wokring enviroment and very good explanation at each topic. thank you!

By David H

Mar 21, 2019

It was challenging but worth it to enhance the mathematic skills for machine learning. Thanks for the awesome course.

By J A M

Mar 21, 2019

Solid conceptual explanations of PCA make this course stand out. The thorough review of this content is a must for any serious data researcher.

By Akash G

Mar 20, 2019

awesome

By Bálint - H F

Mar 20, 2019

Great !