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

26,928 ratings

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


Feb 6, 2023

The assessments, quizzes, and course coverage are quite good. The main points are covered, although it does not cover everything. Additionally, it provides opportunities to learn and conduct research.


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

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26 - 50 of 5,921 Reviews for Introduction to Data Science in Python

By Jacob S

Mar 10, 2020

I do not recommend this course. If in the end you do take this course don't waste your time with the lectures, 90% of the homework doesn't come from the lectures. In fact the first line in every homework assignment is:

"This assignment requires more individual learning than previous assignment"

This essentially translates into you using google to look up how to do the 90% of the homework they don't cover in the lectures.

Also this course should also be changed to be "Introduction to Data Cleaning in Python" because you do more data cleaning than anything else in this course.

I am sure this review will be buried behind all of the "top" reviews even though the most "helpful" reviews as voted by people in the course are all 1-stars.



May 10, 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

By Nikolay D

Mar 24, 2019

It is disappointing that most of the course is basically self-learning from publicly available resources. If self-learning was what I wanted, I could do with reading the Pandas documentation instead and spare myself the subscription fee.

By Roger v S

Oct 6, 2020

You will spend more time fighting the autograder than actually learning. You will learn more from youtube videos than this course. The only reason to do this course is for the certificate, even then, watch a youtube video or two before starting this course so that you can grasp the material. Also, before doing an assessment, watch the next weeks videos as the videos are a week lagged to the assignments.

By Darien M

Nov 14, 2019

This course is not conducive to learning, but rather to getting results. I understand that in the "real world" programmers would simply search the web for questions. This is because they need to produce results for their companies. We, as students, need to learn. We are not taking the course to learn what it is like to be a programmer, but rather to understand how the programs work and how to improve our thinking skills. This course taught me how to navigate Stack Overflow and other online resources for Pandas. I was pretty diligent about trying to understand what I was doing, but it definitely wasn't a requirement for the course. That is my problem: one could sneak by in this course without even understanding a thing. They could simply copy and paste code from the internet , tweak, hit submit and repeat until they have a 100%. Just a small example, in the last question we do not have to interpret our results in any way whatsoever, just get results. This is not learning.

The assignments are good and the TAs are helpful. They should be getting paid. The fact that we need so much help to complete the assignments should raise a red flag.

By Wei M

Jan 25, 2019

This is a assignment-driven course, and the assignments are great. The course is not self-contained, and the assignment is much harder than the content of the course videos. It takes >8 hours per assignment, and it does require some previous programming experience.

I have seen complaints about the difficulty of the assignment. However, if someone really wants to learn how to do data science and programming, one cannot copy and paste everything from others' or some lecturer's code. Data wrangling is important work when dealing with real-life data, and he or she must knowing how to read through documents and extract information by themselves. There's no shortcut if you really want to learn Python and pandas. From dealing with real life data, I learned a lot in this course. However, I suggest that the lecturer should provide some simple lecture videos on how to read documents and how to effectively search for relevant content on the internet. Many students may not have appropriate programming skill background before taking this course.


Apr 15, 2018

I was really excited about the this course, and was really let down. This course is really, really poorly done. I would not waste time and money on this course when there are much better options out there. I feel like I've gotten little in return for my time and money.

First, there is no accompanying book (only slides). A self-contained accompanying book is a valuable resource, helping students prepare for lecture, and serving as a reference manual later on (I still regularly use my Coursera book on introductory Python). That there is no pdf reference for this class is indefensible (both of the other coursera courses I’ve had access to have had excellent self-contained books that followed the lecture). Instead, the student is directed to several other books they can purchase elsewhere.

Second, as several other students have noted, the timeframe for assignments is really unrealistic, taking much longer than projected (at least for me, and several other students). This is not acceptable when Coursera bills by the month. Coursera needs to provide a better assessment of the time commitments for the class. Moreover, several of the in-video quizzes are disconnected from the material, often requiring extra research. Consulting other resources is fine (it’s part of coding), but the point of the quizzes should be to give the student practice implementing a concept that was just introduced.

Third, the teaching is horrific. The professor is not engaging at all, but simply mechanically reads lines which often sound straight out of a user manual. The point of online videos is not to turn books into audio files- it’s to have a human talk/reason through problems with you. The teacher of the course should discuss the material, not recite a manual. A great example of well-done online teaching is Dr. Chuck Severance, whose videos the teachers of this course would do well to consult. In addition, the material is presented far too quickly.

Fourth, the title of this course is a misnomer: an introduction to data science would provide an overview of the tools, techniques and scope of the field. An extremely detailed introduction to Pandas, which is essentially what most of this course is, is useful if well executed (which it is not here), but it is not an introduction to data science.

A more minor complaint is the absolutely horrendous choice of the background. Showing different permutations of lifeless office drones is not exactly inspiring material for aspiring data scientists, even if this the reality of office life- it’s distracting at best, and at worst, deeply disparaging. Why not have just a plain colored background? Or anything else?

The experience of this class is making me question whether I will ever pay for a Coursera course again. The amount of time I’ve wasted on pointless exercises is not warranted by what I’ve learned from this class- in retrospect I would have learned more just by purchasing one of the books referred to in the class introduction.

By William G

Jan 22, 2019

Important material, but taught in a far less optimal manner than Python for Everybody (or maybe Dr. Chuck's material is just the gold standard).

Material is explained at a high level extremely quickly, with very little explanation of the underlying fundamentals of what's going on. Videos are generally of the instructor talking, not actually slides depicting what happens when you're calling a function like loc.

Gold stars for the helpful forum posts from the TAs though - would have probably spent 2-3x the time if not for their posts. The week notebooks are also quite helpful - I recommend just reading the transcripts and following along the notebooks, and only using the video when something really does not make immediate sense.

By Shawn W

May 8, 2019

Poorly designed course. Very little guidance or content provided, ended up getting most of my insights from stackoverflow...which I can do on my own.

By Ray M

Jul 13, 2019

I cannot recommend anyone to do this course - it's ridiculously poorly constructed. I have done four other courses on Coursera (including several other python courses) and all were excellent. The quality of this course though is appalling in comparison.

FIRSTLY They do not TEACH any of the material. Instead they simply list - very briefly - a ton of functions/ methods/ objects etc without providing any real details of how they operate. Teaching the basics and then expecting the students to do further study and practice using those basics would be fine. Spending 30 seconds or less on a function / method/ objects is NOT teaching the basics. READING A TEXTBOOK on the topics covered was more effective then doing the course material!!! What kind of modern on-line course is less effective at teaching a topic than a textbook?

SECONDLY The autograder for the programming assignments is a joke. I took the course to learn how to code successfully. The autograder does not test that - it could not even get question 1 of assignment 3 correct. Instead, the students are expected to read through the forums and then spend hours making ridiculously stupid adjustments to corrects for errors present in the autograder. Seriously? If you are not capable of building a autograder that works, don't have programming assignments that require an autograder. But realistically, if you are not capable of building an autograder that works, you have no business offering an on-line programming course.

REALLY disappointed. This course should be removed until its quality is significantly improved - it detracts significantly from the Coursera brand name. If this was the first course I had done on Coursera, I would have thought the platform rubbish and would never have done a second course. Even now I am concerned about how many other of the courses are this unprofessional. I've gone from being a huge Coursera admirer and advocate to now not being sure how much I will use (or endorse) the platform going forwards.

By Tan J X

Jan 13, 2020

I found the lectures extremely dry and boring. The entire time I was watching the videos, I was just looking forward to the end. Meanwhile, the exercises were exceedingly difficult. I found myself using apply and groupby methods when they were only introduced in Week 2. Suffice to say, my first few hours on the course can only be describe as 'painful'.

I would suggest to anyone reading this to watch Brandon Rhodes' Pycon 2015 lecture. It was way more engaging, and his explanation of concepts were much clearer. The exercises were well paced, and after spending 6 hours or so on both the video and the exercises, my mind has never been clearer on Pandas. I urge anyone who has been recommended this course to drop it IMMEDIATELY. Putting your time into YouTube and Stack Overflow will definitely be more beneficial.

By Divyasom M

Nov 4, 2019

Personally I am rating this course at the lowest level possible.

Here are my reasons for doing so:

The course videos do not teach you much. The video lectures are super condensed and lot of information comes your way and actually trying that out on Jupyter notebook on the side easily takes 5-6 times. When you get down to the assignments, you will realize that videos only scratched the surface of the topic and in some cases some of the concepts to be used were not at all discussed in the videos.

You have to learn by yourself, and your best friends are StackOverflow, Google, Python and Pandas documentation. Once you have researched and spent hours putting together the solution to assignments, you will spend more hours struggling with the autograder (At this moment, I am stuck for over two weeks with the autograder at Week3 of the course). If you get the autograder to work then also all you are just going to get pass/ fail result and there is no actual reinforcement that the way you tackled a problem was an efficient way of doing so.

I would recommend this course only to someone who can spend 25-40 hours each week just studying for this course.

By Caroline S

Oct 23, 2020

First of all, I DO NOT recommend this course to anyone. Save your money and time and learn the subject in self-studies because that is exactly what you'd be doing if you signed up for the course - only you would be paying for it and experiencing the level of frustration I went through during the completion of this course.

I chose to sign up for this course because I completed the P4E specialization which I loved. But make no mistake, this instructor is no Dr. Chuck.

Key issues:

Instructory videos are extremely brief but cover complex topics, hence you get a very superficial overview of the topic, there is no real "teaching" involved (...which I thought was what I was paying for)

Monotone, non-engaging instructor

Videos do not prepare you for assignments (you will need to spend hours researching the topics on your own)

Poor wording and explanations regarding expectations for the assignment deliverables

By Nils W

Mar 10, 2019

Wrost course I have participated in. The assignments aren´t solvable with the provided code. So one had to search and google for all snippets. That would be ok, if the assignment isn´t containing data cleaning every time. So you get an error if you won´t clean correctly and perhaps misses a whitespace. So a simple task gets complicated. And the worse thing is, some answers will displayed as correct but aren´t. So you won´t pass the next questions based on the previous questions.

You should know regex quite well and some other tool to be not so much frustrated. Be aware the assignments are way harder then it looks like.

By Stefan H

Sep 27, 2018

This is simply the worst teaching i have ever seen. the listed requirements are not what is required. instead I ended up googling the possible solutions for 3 hours until i gave up - since there is also no additional material to add. I don't agree with the professors expectations we will just magically know more than he taught in the course. I am paying to be taught at an acceptable level, and this surely was not acceptable.

disgraceful. He should not teach anyone anything.

By Colleen P

Sep 18, 2018

This course was very frustrating. Sometimes the instructor was clear and other times, very confusing. The assignments were extremely difficult and included concepts that were never taught in the course. Suggesting we use Stack Overflow for help instead of simply teaching the concepts in the course was extremely frustrating. This is not an efficient way for most people to learn Python.

By Michael O

Mar 3, 2020

I'm not sure how this course got such high reviews when 90% of the time you'll need to go to Stackoverflow to find out how to do things. The concepts "taught" were so basic and barely touched the surface of the required knowledge needed to complete the difficult assignments.

By Davide C

Feb 11, 2019

Lessons are not helpful if you start from 0 and want to learn. Had to search everything on my own. So what' s the purpose of them? Too little details and assignments too unclear.

I came here to learn not to show that I already know.

By Günter G

Jan 4, 2021

This course is really tough, especially the assignments, which are never doable in the estimated 3 hours. That is very frustrating when one is experiencing this.

The course material is mainly a book and a few videos. I needed lots of hours studying on my own to tackle the assignments.

Now I got the certificate and when I look back I can say it was really a tough time but I learned a lot.

By Deleted A

Dec 20, 2020

From my point of view, the content of this course and especially the assignments were very challenging (which i think is positive because you had to look back into the course content and/or Python documentation). This really forces you to actively work with course content.

The main improvement point within this course is the way of how the content is explained and presented; just repeating everything which is written down in the book and trying to explain as much as possible within a short period of time is not the way of teaching from my point of view. Maybe, some slides with some more explanation about a specific topics with (for example) why and how Python is performing as it performs would be more beneficial (instead of immediately jumping in what you have to do to solve a specific problem).

By Qiang L

Mar 17, 2020

I think most of the people mentioned that in the review. There is a HUGE gap between the lecture and the assignment. I am a beginner level of python and know some programming, and I feel really hard to work with the assignment, most of the content in assignment does not cover in lecture. Basically you need to google almost everything you need to finish every assignment. I have been struggling with that since assignment 2. SO what's the point to take a course, why not I just do the assignment directly and google everything. I hope you can change the content and adjust the conection between material and assignment. If you still want do keep the same assignment, try to give more detail in the lecture or have some examples. At least provide some prerequisite course before further into this course.

By Amir M O

Jun 9, 2019

Wish I could give it zero star.

1- The lectures are extremely poor (read the most helpful reviews and you see that a lot of people share this opinion).

2- Assignments are super difficult and not related to the lectures.

3- Assuming that you manage to solve the questions, now you have to deal with their defective auto grader which is royal pain.

4- They insist on using Jupyter (in my opinion a really messy environment). I used PyCharm which is the default IDE for python nowadays but their auto grader caused me so much headache.

Overall, this course requires significant changes and more respect towards the students who spend a lot of time on it. For me personally, it killed my motivation for pursuing Data Science and taking more courses from this instructor.

By Rahul R

Feb 2, 2020

This course is very difficult. This is first of all not a introductory course. The instructor teaches basic stuff but the assignments were look like mountain. It is quite impossible for a beginner to solve this type of assignment problems without having a very good background in python programming and data structure handling.

I should recommend, the instructor should revise the course content. Please bring balance between what you are teaching and what you are expecting from student.

After taking this course, I personally demotivated from taking further courses in this specialization.

*********** I will recommend going for IBM data science specialization.********

By Kevin M

Apr 18, 2019

This course lacked written material to accompany the videos and the reference books are presented in a much different flow, so you are left to jump through books and posts to get through anything. Having the content packaged and delivered in succinct format is what I was looking for and this did not provide that.

By Sergei Z

Sep 18, 2018

Absolutely terrible learning support. The professor does not supply helpful information what so ever for the assignments. He expects us to go out of our way to look up information on in order to solve the problems. His incompetence in actually demonstrating how this works is abhorrent.