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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Mathematical Thinking in Computer Science by University of California San Diego

1,869 ratings
438 reviews

About the Course

Mathematical thinking is crucial in all areas of computer science: algorithms, bioinformatics, computer graphics, data science, machine learning, etc. In this course, we will learn the most important tools used in discrete mathematics: induction, recursion, logic, invariants, examples, optimality. We will use these tools to answer typical programming questions like: How can we be certain a solution exists? Am I sure my program computes the optimal answer? Do each of these objects meet the given requirements? In the course, we use a try-this-before-we-explain-everything approach: you will be solving many interactive (and mobile friendly) puzzles that were carefully designed to allow you to invent many of the important ideas and concepts yourself. Prerequisites: 1. We assume only basic math (e.g., we expect you to know what is a square or how to add fractions), common sense and curiosity. 2. Basic programming knowledge is necessary as some quizzes require programming in Python....

Top reviews

Mar 25, 2019

The teachers are informative and good. They explain the topic in a way that we can easily understand. The slides provide all the information that is needed. The external tools are fun and informative.

Feb 27, 2021

It is a great course! teachers explain everything with care. While providing lectures there are some popup ques that verify whether you understood that lecture or not. Overall, a great experience.

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351 - 375 of 430 Reviews for Mathematical Thinking in Computer Science

By Deleted A

Aug 7, 2020

Could not conitnue to many courses to do

By Islam W

May 22, 2020

The part of 15 puzzle was disappointed.

By Alberto B

Oct 23, 2019

Good concepts to know and nice examples

By Les C

Apr 19, 2021

Interesting summary of basic concepts.

By Ketan V

May 27, 2020

The instructors were not clear enough.


May 8, 2020

The Course was excellent. I loved it.

By Riya G

Aug 18, 2020

amazing for beginners like me!

By Amer A

Sep 15, 2019

very useful and impressive

By Aryan B

Jul 12, 2020

Quite good for beginners!


May 24, 2020

very good and intuitional

By Deleted A

Oct 29, 2020

Shen is a great teacher!


Aug 28, 2020

very useful. thankyou

By Abhijeet S P

Sep 14, 2020

good experience.

By Abu M A M S

Jul 24, 2020

very good course

By Edson E L Z

Jul 5, 2018

muy practico!

By YimingJia

Jul 12, 2019

Too simple

By Gourav C

Feb 2, 2019

very good

By 121910316019 C G S

Jan 9, 2021


By Thành N K

Jun 26, 2019


By Juan P G

Jun 12, 2021

I never quite understood who this course is meant for. The initial videos were interesting and the level of difficulty was such that someone without a strong mathematical background could follow and ramp up gradually. All of a sudden the difficulty increased significantly, the instructor started using Python code, the explanations weren't thorough, and the challenges required coding to be solved. Very strange jump in level of difficulty. I tried to stick with it, but I was not getting what I was hoping out of it, so I gave up on week 3.

By Ricardo Z

Apr 21, 2020

The course content was good, I've learned new things and remembered others. Was nice to practice Math and use all those concepts to solve puzzles and understand the origins of lots of stuff. But the content of the course was not sufficient to me to understand every proposal assignments or content. I had to look others explanations on Youtube/articles to get a better understanding. I think you guys could work more on the explanations. A few times I had to play the videos more than three times to get what you were saying.

By Steven W

Dec 3, 2017

This course is pretty great. You get to play with puzzles thats always fun. I think the course could use some refinement. The material feels a little unfocused. What I'd like is for the course to be focused on induction fundamentally. As a learner I want to be introduced to the concept of induction, build skills in applying induction and, develop intuition in reasoning about induction. The course ends up being a sampler for the rest of the courses in the series and, I think it's worse off because that.

By Dimitry K

Feb 18, 2020

Material is good, but some of the explanations were very clunky and hard to comprehend. Really missed some smoother connections from topic to topic. The quality of explanations are very uneven between the lecturers. Some were excellent, while others - not so much.

Still, I enjoyed the course, and it was a good introduction to mathematical thinking, as the creators intended, I hope.

By Aryan R

Jul 5, 2020

There are some problems with the third-party tool for this course, maybe it would be better off to use quizzes BUT I appreciate the use of puzzles as a complement to this course. The instructors are enthusiastic and knowledgeable. More emphasis can be given on simpler ways to put forward the ideas without tough use of mathematical terms. All in all, this was a good course.

By Akash V S

May 18, 2020

The course was engaging and comprehensive yet a lot of the topics mentioned, especially in the last week, were not explained at all - for example, Big O Notation and time complexity. Moreover, there was an immense disparity between the difficulty in the problems that were to be solved as coursework and the bonus track.