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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Introduction to Probability and Data by Duke University

3,439 ratings
778 reviews

About the Course

This course introduces you to sampling and exploring data, as well as basic probability theory and Bayes' rule. You will examine various types of sampling methods, and discuss how such methods can impact the scope of inference. A variety of exploratory data analysis techniques will be covered, including numeric summary statistics and basic data visualization. You will be guided through installing and using R and RStudio (free statistical software), and will use this software for lab exercises and a final project. The concepts and techniques in this course will serve as building blocks for the inference and modeling courses in the Specialization....

Top reviews


Jan 24, 2018

This course literally taught me a lot, the concepts were beautifully explained but the way it was delivered and overall exercises and the difficulty of problems made it more challenging and enjoying.


Sep 04, 2019

Very clearly explained and the pace is awesome! I really enjoy each deadline and l can already see how it is impacting my day to day work and life. I ook forward to completing the course! Thank you.

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26 - 50 of 755 Reviews for Introduction to Probability and Data

By Anna D

Apr 03, 2017

Best statistics course I've ever taken. So many Aha! moments I can't count them.

I have struggled for years to understand and get the hang of statistics, at uni, with online courses and at work. With this course (and the following courses) I think I have finally gained a DEEPER understanding of some of the basic but very important concepts of statistics. Lots of detailed examples and no overly complicated maths gibberish (although still mathematically sound!).

The R programming bits run in parallel to the statistics lectures and can be followed (necessary for a certificate) or can be ignored (if you only want to grasp the concepts), but are overall very easy to understand and follow. There is only little background to R as a programming language and the different types of data, lists, matrices etc. To me that's a good thing, as it allows you to use R right away (which in turn makes me more motivated to go back and learn more about R).

I whole-heartedly recommend this to anyone who wants to understand and use statistics!

By Raw N

Apr 23, 2017

Very well put-together course.

I like that the course has in-video quizzes as well as practice exercises to help prepare you for the weekly quizzes. The labs for the course are also very helpful.

The textbook that accompanies the course is freely available in pdf format online and the suggested exercises are a great complement to the rest of the course materials.

For those unfamiliar with R, the project is a bit of a leap from the rest of the contents in the course. To get around that, I'd suggest to both use the discussion forum (posts by mentor David Hood are particularly helpful) and to take both the R programming course and the Exploratory Data Analysis course from the Johns Hopkins data science sequence. Those 2 should together be doable in 5-6 weeks and at that point you should have sufficient background to where doing the project in this course (and those in follow-up courses in this specialization) should not be a problem.

By Vladimir V

Feb 10, 2018

I think this is a very good entry level course for those who are interested in entering the realm of statistics.

The learning objectives of each week are well defined and the practice and weekly tests are based on those learning objectives. The videos explain very well each objective in a very convenient, easy to comprehend and interesting manner. For students who want more 'after class' material, the course offers a very nice book, which I personally used and helped me a lot during the course. The book also offers practice tasks at the end of each chapter.

The course project: Personally I think the course project in the 5th week of the course is interesting in a way that you have actual data to work with and use almost everything you have learned during the course.

Overall I think this is a very good course!

By Natalia S

Jun 15, 2016

This course was excellent, the teaching material top-notch and with excellent pedagogy. It's amazing that the course authors offer a statistics textbook almost exactly covering the course content for free. The idea to combine R and statistics is right on the money too, thanks to this one can learn 2 skills at the same time, with statistical analysis letting you practice coding in R and R helping you visualise your statistics. The lectures are divided into small, easy to absorb chunks and the teacher does an excellent job explaining the material, giving very good examples and analogies to help the students understand concepts. The exercises and assignments are fun to complete, and the course offers a flexibility in how much time you spend on it per week, e.g. there are non-mandatory exercises to do.

By Tamir L

Jul 25, 2016

This is a brilliant course that makes statistics and probability as approachable, engaging and clear as humanely possible.

Prof. Mine Cetinkaya-Rundel explains every subject very clearly, and has included some very effective quizzes and lab exercises.

I first encountered R markdown files in this course and have used them constantly ever since.

My only tiny point of criticism is that the non-graded exercise quizzes are way easier than the real quizzes, and do not really prepare you at all to the more complex questions in the actual quizzes. It's a petty and unimportant kind of criticism in an otherwise wonderful course.

If everyone taught stats like Prof. Cetinkaya-Rundel, this important subject would have been a whole lot better understood and utilized globally.


Mar 14, 2018

Excelente. Es un buen curso introductorio. Hace particular énfasis en las distribuciones normal y binomial. Da una pasada introductoria a R que, entre otras cosas, no es enseñado durante las clases sino que a través de los talleres que se realizan al final de cada capítulo. Son explicados con solvencia conceptos como correlación, causalidad y generalización.

Para quienes no saben, desconocen o no han tenido contacto con markdown valdría la pena ver un par de vídeos en youtube. Yo manejaba algo de R, pero nunca había tenido contacto con markdown y me pareció una herramienta muy útil, y aunque no es explicada en las lecciones o en los talleres, el proyecto de final del curso debe ser hecho en markdown.

By Matthew L

Aug 09, 2016

Professor Cetinkaya-Rundel's explanations are clear and she gives many examples, the quizzes are fair and I think it is an excellent idea to have a lab in R to get students familiar with that tool.

I recommend that students read the book chapters and do the practice problems there, it's very helpful.

My one criticism is that the amount of R taught in the course is not really enough to do a good job on the capstone project, because the data in the given database is formatted very differently. I think maybe the course staff could reformat the database to make it more user-friendly for beginning R users, but in the meantime you may want to study a little R on the side at, say, DataCamp.

By Aaradhya G

Nov 22, 2019

Absolutely amazing! It is clear that the professor, Ms. Mine Çetinkaya-Rundel is passionate about the subject and knows it inside out. The practical example-based approach to learning is appreciated, since a lot of statistics courses don't give learners a realistic setting to think about their knowledge, leaving them with the infamous 'how will this help me in real life?' question. The book, OpenIntro is also very helpful in this regard.

The R course has been introduced nicely too. The difficulty curve might take time to get used to, but the packages introduced and the codes used make sense, so it should not take too much time.

Wholeheartedly recommended!

By Mariusz S

Aug 16, 2016

I really liked this course.

The course comprises of lectures, which are clear and are rich in examples, and of practical assignments, which you do in R.

The practical tasks is where the course shines - everything is explained very clearly, there is a lot of content, and the course works with databases that are huge (thousands of cases and hundreds of variables) and have some of the more common problems (eg. missing data). I have little to no prior programming experience, just for the record.

Mind you, this is an introductory course, as the name states, so don't expect to be a master of R or data handling after finishing it, but I feel I learned a lot here.


Jan 06, 2020

Excellent course. Classes were intense and the professor was very didactic. It took me around 10 hours a week of dedication, and the Final Project of the last week required around 40 hours of work. I am very pleased with the final result, but I think it is important to let it clear the real time expected of effort here. Unless you are already really familiarized with the concepts and with the R platform, the course requires a strong commitment. My final verdict: I am very grateful to have done a course of this quality from where I am. Thank you: professors, mentors, developers and fellow classmates! Every minute of my time was worthwhile with you.

By Neringa B

Oct 05, 2017

Introduction to Probability and Data (by Duke University) is an excellent course. It's like a beautifully and clearly presented piece of the history of statistics. This course must be taken by all who are interested in the type and dynamics of relationships between various elements of life. At the same time, the duty and responsibility of mental reality (=ideology) is to reflect the actual reality. The dogmas of the traditional statistics revolve around a traditional family model which excludes present day gender diversity. This makes traditional statistics no longer reflective of the actual reality unless it incorporates gender diversity.

By Blaize G

Sep 04, 2019

Very rigorous course. No you don't need programming experience to complete, however you will be thanking your self if you spend as much time throughout the week learning R as you do on the content of the course. I was stuck at the week 5 project for a while until I buckled down and spent a few days on Youtube and on Google learning R. So with that said, if you have no prior exposure to programming or Stats, this course is very difficult, however if you stick with it, it is very worth the time spent. My tip is to reset your deadlines as many times as you need to if the content is more difficult than you anticipated.

By Yi-Chien, C

Feb 23, 2017

The course was well-structured and the instructor clearly illustrated statistical concepts to students who have no prior experience in the field. Although the lab assignment for each week may seem a bit stressful for beginners, the overall learning is highly inspiring and does prove rewarding as students finally get to apply the technical skills to their final project. Also, the guidance for each lab assignment was very helpful. It would be even better if there are example code answers for the lab questions, since some of the questions are a bit more complicated. Overall, this is a worth-taking course.

By Marwa A E K M A Z

Jun 18, 2019

Though you may feel at the beginning that the pace is somewhat fast, but you'll learn a lot if you stick to the material and worked on the labs and the hands-on tutorials. Not to mention the project example in week 4, it was incredible I really liked learning through the errors and interpreting what are these errors and why they may arise. In the project I learned a lot, I felt it's not an easy task to start working on a dataset from A-Z with complete freedom to formulate research questions, clear the data and get the appropriate inference! Overall it was a great course that I really enjoyed :)

By Katherine T

Jun 15, 2017

I really enjoyed this course - the instruction and materials were high quality and very helpful in clarifying statistical concepts that had seemed unnecessarily confusing to me prior to taking this course. The assignments were very helpful in teaching R, with the final assignment requiring slightly more familiarity in R than the first 4 weeks prepare students for. My advice for students who take this course is that if you have the time in the first 4 weeks, try to learn a bit more than is minimally required in R to be best prepared for the final project. Overall a great course!

By Bharat K

Jul 18, 2016

One of the well made MOOCs. There are many courses in Coursera taught by good professors from good universities but are badly designed for an MOOC environment making it a bad experience. This course is really well designed. The contents is modular and lectures are split into easy to grasp chunks. The weekly lab exercises using R using real datasets is a plus. Though not much of R syntax is taught and it is up to us to explore(understandable since the goal of this course is not to teach R). The final project was a bit challenging but fun. The course 'mentors' are helpful.

By Mark F C

Jun 30, 2017

Great intro course into both stats and R. I especially like how the videos succinctly explain all the concepts in such short lessons, supplemented by the thorough readings that provide more details and the lessons in R.

The data analysis project, while challenging at first, did a good job of providing an interesting data set and forcing us to come up with the rest. If I had my hand held all the way through, I wouldn't have learned as much as I did, as I was forced to look throughout the internet for code to perform functions I was anxious to use.

By Veerawut A

Apr 10, 2019

This is an excellent course to lay down the ground works for further courses within the specialization. You'll get the necessary introduction to statistics along with beginner level knowledge of the statistical tool R package. While certain area of the course, especially week 5 data analysis project, can be challenging. Know that the discussion forum is always there to help you if you are stuck. The quiz and project is never outside the scope of the course materials. Totally would recommend this course for anyone who interested in statistics.

By Erin A

Oct 18, 2019

This course made principles of probability interesting, going beyond the usual examples of coin flips, dice rolls, and card draws. The discussion about the limits of which observed trends can be applied to a greater population of interest was clear and the project gave us an opportunity to put it into practice ourselves. I especially liked the opportunity to ask questions of a large dataset and generate tables of data and graphs to illustrate these tables a bit more clearly. I feel I now have a good foundation upon which to build!

By Richard N B A

Apr 13, 2016

Interesting, information-dense and well presented lectures by someone who obviously has a deep understanding of the topics and who is passionate about teaching the subject. Added to that: a great course textbook and useful R tutorials with a focus on commonly used libraries such as dplyr and ggplot. Beginner and intermediate statistics students, as well as teachers interested in the presentation of statistics theory and practice, can't go wrong with this course.

By Sujoy S

Oct 18, 2017

Instructor is excellent. While I bought the recommended book I hardly referred to it. The response from the mentors (especially David Hood) in the discussion forum to every question has been very prompt and precise. Overall the combination of the Instructor, the illustrations in the videos, the practice tests and the online support of the mentors makes it an ideal online course. I was able to finish this despite being in a fairly demanding full time

By Cecilia L

Jun 26, 2019

Mine Cetinkeya-Rundel' explains the concepts in a very very clear manner.

I actually started with other statistics course on Coursera. But found it going too fast. A lot of ideas were poorly presented. I was quite frustrated with one topic, so I searched online for detail elaboration and found Mine Cetinkeya-Rundel's youtube videos. Her deliberate explanation built my confidence. Hence now I'm at her class and I really enjoy it overall.


Apr 06, 2018

This course is really helpful to have a better understanding of fundamentals of probability and data statistics. The course mainly focuses on basic concepts of probability and how to apply them. The assignment provided was very helpful and challenging. The peer graded project allows me to evaluate my fellow course mates which really boost my confidence as make me feel like an invigilator and provide the basis for my academic career.

By Noah

Oct 01, 2017

This is a very good course to learn (or review) the foundations of statistics and how R can be a great companion tool to augment a solid understanding of the topic.

The instructor speaks clearly and at a fast enough pace that there is no time to pay attention to anything else. I appreciated the lectures, slides and there is a free PDF book which is also well written! I am looking forward to the other courses in this series!

By Kimberly G

Sep 06, 2017

The course was really beneficial to someone with no R experience. Having taking statistics courses before I was mainly interested in the use of R for computational uses of statistics and analysis. The course provided those means and more. I'd recommend using RStudio on your own computer versus the Data Camp tutorials however as when it comes to the project at the end, you'll be extra comfortable with the use of RStudio.