Back to Mathematical Thinking in Computer Science

4.4

stars

949 ratings

•

223 reviews

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....

Mar 26, 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 02, 2020

I loved this course! So many interesting things to think about, thoughtfully explained by brilliant instructors. The puzzles really get you thinking. Such genius to put them before the lectures!

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By Victor L

•Dec 14, 2018

no clarity and continuity in expressing the ideas too difficult to follow

By Ricardo C G

•Mar 08, 2018

The teacher Alexander Chen doesn't explain anything well. It's horrible to understand him and what he wants.

By Luc N

•Dec 14, 2018

I am just into week 1 but the explanations given are unclear and confusing. The didactic is poor. I am right now wondering whether I should continue learning this or not

By kirill l

•Nov 29, 2018

The course is excellent and most stuff is being taught in a nicely presented way. The main disappointment is 15-puzzle, because it's too difficult to understand without proper material.

By Dave G

•Jun 30, 2018

Love the quality of thought that goes into each lesson. The professors speak with acute clarity and really demonstrate and empathy for the student to truly understand the topics!

By Parthasaradhi T

•Jan 29, 2019

Good course to gain knowledge of mathematics, Worth for everyone not only computer science

By Prakhar D

•Jul 15, 2019

I took this course as I am from a non-computer science background. This course helped me develop an intuition for discrete mathematics. I am, right now, in the fifth week of this course and so far I have understood everything. Lecturers are excellent, and interactive grading exercises are fun to do. One point that I liked about this course is the way it has been structured. All ideas are presented so that they are connected in a sequential manner rather than in a random. I would recommend everyone who is interested in Computer Science and is from a non-computer science background take this course. :)

By Aneesh D

•Mar 26, 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.

By Christopher W

•Feb 02, 2020

I loved this course! So many interesting things to think about, thoughtfully explained by brilliant instructors. The puzzles really get you thinking. Such genius to put them before the lectures!

By Lukas A

•Jan 05, 2018

The course is full of interesting puzzles, making it a fun course to complete. However, there is very little explanation as to why you are solving these puzzles and what you are supposed to learn from them. The course might be meant as a complement to following a university course, and might help better understand concepts learned in class. But as a standalone course it feels lacking.

By Kayla M

•Apr 14, 2020

This is an outstanding and engaging course. I don't get the bad reviews. If you're an average-to-high-level English speaker, you will not have any issues understanding the instructors. Topics are well-explained, and instructions are clear. There are plenty of posts on the discussion boards for topics that may seem confusing. This course is not suitable for people who don't understand basic Python, but if you can manage to write a simple program, there is absolutely no reason you shouldn't benefit from this course. EXCELLENT.

By Ayush T

•Oct 22, 2017

This course is really good for anyone who loves mathematics and programming. After this course I feel the way in which i used to analyse problems has changed. This thing really important for me as i'm a programmer. One more reason to recommend this course is that apart from learning material it has many puzzles which are really interesting.

By Cynthia M

•Apr 13, 2019

This took a lot of thinking! Some parts are easier than others. I'm a mathematician and am use to being stuck on problems and having to think them through. I also believe that if you're going to be a computer scientist, you need to learn to deal with not getting an answer correct the first time or even the 10th time.

By Toussaint W M

•Jun 17, 2019

Had a lot of fun going through the materials on this course. Mathematics can be really simple when they are directly related to real world concepts and problems. Can not waIt to take the next course. Thanks to the team for their dedication. I have learnt a lot during the 6 past weeks. Thank You.

By Anna L

•Aug 22, 2018

I loved practically every minute of the course - I learned a lot, and I enjoyed it! The puzzles were fun to solve and greatly helped my understanding of the topics discussed. I highly recommend this course to anyone and am looking forward to the next courses in the specialisation!

By Sandeep S

•Aug 15, 2019

The course was a wonderful learning experience to me. I got an opportunity to look at puzzles which I tried to solve in my childhood and understand the mathematical aspect to many of those. To implement some of these puzzles through programs was another wonderful exercise.

By Thomas J H

•Nov 29, 2018

More like logical puzzles that get solved with basic math than your typical high school classes in algebra or calculus. Definitely wakes up your brain. If like myself you've not been doing serious math for a while, a good way to reactive the required neural circuits.

By BAPPADITYA D

•Oct 24, 2019

I like this course as this course forced me to think for some existing challenges in a research oriented approach. Mathematics is fun and this course again prove this popular concept again. I am eager to learn more and cover future courses for the specialization.

By William M

•Feb 15, 2018

wow great course! I haven't finished the bonus track yet, but it sounds like an interesting exercise for 15 puzzle.

I learned a lot, I've taken discrete math before but definitely gained some new insights this time through, highly recommend these instructors!

By Harish K T

•Jul 25, 2019

This is one of the best lectures I have ever learned, It taught me so much which I have ever missed during my basic studies. Anyone who wants to grasp good basic over discrete mathematics for computer science to get stronger in Data Structures & Algorithms.

By liang t

•Nov 06, 2017

Teachers explain things very clearly, and the interactive puzzles are really helpful for study, The responds of instructors are in short time , so I recommend for those who have a little people to take this course. Thanks a lot

By Joseph G N

•Jul 28, 2018

An excelent course, I hope that someday in my country the mathematic wil be taught in this way with puzzle and those thing really made the course interesting. this course really gave me good approaches to proof a lot of problem

By Ogbekile C

•Jan 26, 2020

I am so grateful to Coursera for the opportunity to learn this course. It was of great delight to find that this course is integral in making the Data Structure and Algorithm Specialization easier to learn. Thank you so much.

By Pedro M H V

•Jun 18, 2018

Really nice introduction to discrete math and basic algorithms. The content is quite basic, but as mentioned in the syllabus is for beginners. Still, for those of you who are at that level is worth taking this specialization.

By Tejas T K

•Feb 01, 2020

This was the course 1 of the Specialization and i learned so much from it. I got a new perspective of seeing problems and approaching them in a new way. I am looking forward for the rest courses in this specialization.

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