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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Introduction to Data Science in Python by University of Michigan

22,794 ratings
5,109 reviews

About the Course

This course will introduce the learner to the basics of the python programming environment, including fundamental python programming techniques such as lambdas, reading and manipulating csv files, and the numpy library. The course will introduce data manipulation and cleaning techniques using the popular python pandas data science library and introduce the abstraction of the Series and DataFrame as the central data structures for data analysis, along with tutorials on how to use functions such as groupby, merge, and pivot tables effectively. By the end of this course, students will be able to take tabular data, clean it, manipulate it, and run basic inferential statistical analyses. This course should be taken before any of the other Applied Data Science with Python courses: Applied Plotting, Charting & Data Representation in Python, Applied Machine Learning in Python, Applied Text Mining in Python, Applied Social Network Analysis in Python....

Top reviews

May 9, 2020

The course had helped in understanding the concepts of NumPy and pandas. The assignments were so helpful to apply these concepts which provide an in-depth understanding of the Numpy as well as pandans

Dec 9, 2017

Wow, this was amazing. Learned a lot (mostly thanks to stack overflow) but the course also opened my eyes to all the possibilities available out there and I feel like i'm only scratching the surface!

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4326 - 4350 of 5,031 Reviews for Introduction to Data Science in Python

By Kathrin F S

Jul 18, 2020

The course definitively succeeded in motivating to struggle with Python, using different tools to search for solutions and trying out different ways to solve certain questions. However, this was mainly achieved through the assignments which appeared not to be 100% in line with the lectures (what was needed was not touched in the lectures or only after the respective assignment).

Whta is additionally challenging is that the Jupiter Notebooks for the weeks and additional trainung notebooks created by the user on the one hand and the assignment notebook are using different versions of Python. This is kind of unintended additional training (trying to identify alternative ways to answer the questions).

By Oliver C

Feb 26, 2017

The course content and assignments are pretty good at covering the fundamentals of how to manipulate data in python, I did learn a lot that I can see my self applying practically.

Where it falls down though is the assignment auto-grader. It's immensely fussy (as I understand it has to be), but the assignment instructions are often very vague and don't sufficiently explicitly define whats expected. This means you spend more than 50% of your assignment time debugging and recasting objects and getting very frustrated whilst doing so.

I would recommend this course, but I do hope that the course administrators pick up on this feedback and make the assignments clearer in the future.

By Sayaka E

Feb 17, 2017

This course would be great if you are experienced in Python or any other programming language. The title ' Beginner Specialization. No prior experience required.' is very misleading and if you do not have any experience, you will struggle a lot especially to complete week 3 & 4 assignments.

It makes you think and requires a lot of self-study, which is a good way to enhance our knowledge and skills, however assignments are way too challenging for those who are 'beginners' or have little real-world experience. I would not recommend if you do not have much confidence in your programming 'experience'.

Having said that, teaching team is great - very knowledgeable and supportive.

By Song J

Mar 28, 2017

For me the course's biggest value-adding point is to simply ask us to Google everything on Stack Overflow to complete all the assignments, which has almost nothing to do with the course content. The assignments are also badly designed. In the discussion forum you can see lots of confused / frustrated posts. The TA's and mentors are clearly under-resourced to answer all our questions. The videos unfortunately don't teach us much either. The professor + TA's a simply reading off a teleprompter, and they're rushing through everything. I've done some amazing courses on Python also offered from Uni. of Chicago, but this course has been a big disappointment unfortunately...

By Guo X W

May 31, 2020

This course provided a brief introduction to using Python for data science applications, with a strong focus on pandas method. It is well-suited for students with some background in Python programming. The assignments are rather challenging. It would be great if there are more in-video questions to reinforce our learning and prepare us for the assignments. Working with the autograder required tremendous patience. It would have been a better experience if there was test code to help us debug our errors. On the whole, I benefited from this course, but I must point out that successful completion of the assignments required a lot of independent learning and patience.

By Jessica G

Mar 17, 2017

I learned so much. However, the lack of support when I got stuck made it a frustrating experience. I would not have been able to pass without the discussion forum tips. Even then, it was a lot of mucking in the dark and assignments took longer to complete than they should have. I'm glad I took the course but it was not designed for someone at my skill level. If the discussion forum was organized in a better way, it would have helped -- I had to scroll through pages of text to find the right tips to identify my mistakes. Sometimes the question requirements were oddly or ambiguously phrased and I misunderstood the expectation for the function being tested.

By Sotiris K

Sep 18, 2017

I appreciate why the data cleaning and debugging steps are included - I imagine this is a key component of working with real world data, but I think the time I spent debugging and cleaning could be better spent purely manipulating the data to get the answers to the questions in the assignments.

I don't think the introductory videos on python are necessary - they would not be enough for someone to do the rest of the course. I would replace that with explanations on how to use jupyter notebook and getting more from the course in that way.

In all i enjoyed this course, I particularly enjoyed Week 4's lectures on hypothesis testing.

By Niels W

Nov 28, 2016

This course is a decent introduction to using the python pandas data science package, but suffers from some problems.

The lectures are very brief and do not prepare you well for the assignments. The assignments are not well described and the autograder is very finicky. As a result, every week I spent several hours on the fora and stackoverflow to figure out what the autograder wants, instead of actually learning pandas. I managed to pass this course with (what I know is) subpar code, but we never get to see proper solutions to the assignments.

The course has potential, but as it is now, I will continue this specialisation.

By Skyler D

Jul 12, 2017

This is a decent course. My constructive feedback:

-It is pretty light on actual videos and the instructor moves a little too quickly through them

-Some of the questions in the assignments aren't as clear as they should be which can result in time spent trying to figure out the question instead of working through the answer

With that said, if you have an intro level background in python and enough motivation to finish the course this is a great resource for getting acquainted with Pandas. If you don't have an intro level background in Python and some understanding of objects this will be a real challenge.

By Yiping X

Apr 12, 2020

The structure of the course is clear. I like the assignments that requires individual learning. Though it is time-assuming, I got much sense of achievement after finishing them. However, what is annoying is that the instructions of assigment and the feedback of automatic correctiong are not specific enough. It takes me too much unnecessary time to figure out what is wrong with my submission. One example is that the automatic feedback failed to tell me that I mixed up True(boolean) and 'True'(string). I finally realize it after viewing the teaching staff's reponse to others' questions in the discussion.

By Robin L

Aug 18, 2020

The assignments were interesting and challenging, but not nearly enough elementary examples were provided in the lecture videos. The in-video quizzes appeared immediately after a new concept was introduced and didn't leave enough time to think and process. For some assignments, it wasn't clear how much of my work should be based on the lecture and how much should be based on independent internet searching. I wish I had learned more about standard conventions for writing certain kinds of code given that the instructor discussed some ways being better than others but never gave sufficient examples.

By Andreas M

Jun 19, 2020

I came to this course after finishing the 5-course series by "Dr Chuck" Python for Everybody and with no other Python or much else programming experience. It sounded that this is the optimal course to build on the Python for Eevrybody sequence. But it is a huge jump in difficulty, and for a learner like me the lectures way way too fast, and included a lot of specialised programming terms. Also the assignments are hard and often not very well formulated. I am not saying that this course can't be done when just coming out of the Python-for-Everybody series, but it is very demanding.

By Achal J

May 8, 2020

I believe that this course is one of that courses that make you realize what you are stepping into, My expectations were hurt because i thought that Data Science was more math involved and had awesome statistics involved, oh boy was i wrong. The course majorly deals with data cleansing and copying a lot of code from stack overflow. if your python is not good please don't take this course otherwise you will get frustrated. If you have planning on taking this course be prepared to be grilled this course will require perseverance.

And most importantly the lectures ,they don't help!

By Prashant S

Nov 28, 2016

The instructor is warm and seems pretty interested.

Content is way too minimal though and it's not enough to prepare the student for the assessments.

A lot of searching is required in order to arrive at the solution which more often than not is not the most optimum one. Forums are only supported by fellow students and staff's involvement is next to zero in there. Even threads that deal with clarifying questions were not answered by the staff.

I understand that this way enforces community building and helping fellow students, but staff's participation would be highly appreciated.

By An D

Jun 6, 2018

The material felt very brief. Felt like this was suppose to be a refresher course. The lecture videos are not very helpful in its delivery. I wished there were more visual aids to help me understand the lectures more. Most of the time, it's just the lecturer sitting there talking and some quick screens of the Jupyter codes. I walked away with a brief overall idea of the material instead of an in-depth understanding of the concept. The assignments were challenging and I felt like they were very helpful. Expect to spend a LOT of time researching for the assignments.


Jun 28, 2020

This course was challenging taking into account that I don't have a lot of experience in phyton. I'm not going to lie, i would have prefer that the videos and the lectures give us more tools to solve the challenging assigments. I have to confess, I spent a lot of hours solving these assigmments, firstly, they are not easy and secondly, the auto-grader doesn't give you a real feedback on which you can work to fix the code. The way I see things, the autograder needs to improve and the content of the course will be better if it is more related with the assigmments.

By Andrew I

Feb 24, 2020

I learned a lot through this course, in particular searching the docs and skimming stackoverflow. It was very helpful. I do hope though, that the grader and materials will be updated in the future.

It caused me annoyance to battle with grader. It was not grading properly what in my offline jupyther-notebook runs just fine. I hope that this part of UX, or better - SX (student experience) will be mastered, so that students would concentrate on learning and not on trying to submit the assignment to the obsolete grader. Please, do solve this problem. It matters.

By Rakesh S

Oct 7, 2018

Course material is good esp. the assignments force you to learn a lot more. However, the instruction is not comprehensive. A few assignments were also ambiguous. The support forum is quite good but it would have been much better 1) if instructors would cover key topics a bit more in detail, 2) Easy to find auto grader scripts so one can understand the error or provide a better feedback mechanism from autograder. I had a spelling error in the answer and it took me 4 hours to correct it. Once I had the autograder code, the bug was very easy to catch.

By Thomas L

Jan 7, 2018

I am somewhat satisfied as I did learn some python skills. I paid for this course because I wanted an efficient way to learn python programming. The far cheaper alternative is to get a python book and work through it yourself. I thought this would be a more time efficient alternative to self study. It is somewhat more time efficient. The questions in the assignments are not clear, this results in you spending a lot of time not learning python but figuring out the semantics of the question. There should be a knowledge check at the end of each week.

By Joe P

Jan 17, 2017

I found this course useful since I had no previous experience of Pandas or the statistical features of Python. I have programming experience and feel I would have found it quite a challenge otherwise, but not prohibitively so. Chris is great at explaining things in an accessible manner, and I'm very much looking forward to going into more detail in the rest of the specialisation. I would have enjoyed a little more focus on statistics etc and a little less on the mechanics of the library, but understand why it had to be approached this way.

By Will D

Oct 13, 2020

Great course material. Grading issues due to Python versions was a pain. The discussion forum may have been more helpful with smaller groups (18k posts in a given week is overwhelming!) Nice to have access to the larger group brain, but I bet having chats with cohorts of 10-100 people would make the course feel more intimate and engaging. Also, the pace of lectures felt like the prof was reading text off a screen rather than a "real" lecture with natural pauses, which made it difficult to follow along with code as the prof was speaking.

By Nadine R

Apr 19, 2018

This is course is classified as intermediate and a 10h commitment per week. For me this was an under estimation. It took me much longer. The problem with the course for me was, that the skills required for the assignments were not taught during the lectures and the assignments are poorly described. I ended up googling for hours. The links in the forums are very helpful, but I usually prefer to solve assignments on my own, which was not not possible for me in this course. I did learn a lot, but this was very unefficient.

By Stacey C R

Feb 10, 2018

Honestly, my opinion is that the material is "a little too difficult a little too early" .. not because an experienced programmers can't handle it, but because the urgency of getting the final assignment done forces a reversion back to more traditional programming techniques rather than instilling "Pandas like" programming techniques ... if anything .. "instructor solutions" should be given at the end of the course so we can go back and see "how we could have done it more elegantly" in the areas were are interested in.

By Keir M

Jun 10, 2017

Not a bad course but would like to see more teaching of best practice solutions to some of the test and assignment questions. As most of the assignments require a lot of self-learning it would be nice to discover if our solutions are optimal or not. As it stands you can get a perfect score by writing for loops or other inefficient solution when there are quite possibly built-in pandas functions which could achieve the same thing more efficiently. Would like to learn more about pandas and best-practice techniques.

By Mike L

Jul 10, 2019

The course materials is very practical. The lectures are very clear and self-contained. The only reason I gave 3 stars is that the homework takes too much time. I spent a lot of time digging into online forums to find out the nuts and bolts to finish the projects. Fortunately the teaching staffs are very helpful. The time spent for homework is too much for my preference. Maybe this is the way to learn this type of information. I don't know. Having said that, the materials and lecture qualities are great.