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

2,114 ratings

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 online 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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451 - 475 of 485 Reviews for Mathematical Thinking in Computer Science

By Shambhav A

Aug 3, 2020

lectures, particularly by alexander vhen, were good!

By Jamil R

May 20, 2020

language is not clear always can be better

By Joseph G R M

Jul 28, 2020

I didn't understand clearly the use of proof


Aug 23, 2020

Explanations not clear


Jun 17, 2020

The course is fun!


Nov 30, 2020

Good Mind teasers


Mar 25, 2020


By Dylan R

Mar 19, 2023

First off - this course claims there's no Prerequisites but I think there should be. Often there are equations appearing within the content that the lecturers don't explain - they expect you to know how to solve them. This shouldn't be the case for a No-Prereq course.

I lost interest by the time I got to week 4. The recorded videos stopped and it was just a wall of text to read. Very disappointing to pay for a course with no one explaining the text to you - just get a book from the library at that point.

The puzzles were great at the beginning, and the content was interesting, but overall it's clear that work needs to be put into this course. Don't waste your money.

By Araik B

Dec 28, 2020

I came out of that with a 100% and was confused from start to finish. Some of the classes did help in regards to the other programming class I took.

The beginning message that you do not need to know anything other than algebra and basic math was way off.

I don't feel like i got much out of this specific one but it is part of a package so we will see how the rest develop - usually its by the last class im like OH THIS IS WHY

By Ian L

Sep 3, 2018

I got stuck for ages on the last puzzle where you cut the squares, because it was not obvious that the middle square was not supposed to be counted as the shape - it looks like a grid of 9 squares.

By Mary B B

Aug 26, 2021

Very difficult to understand. I felt left most of the time floundering to figure out what the teacher was saying and how it related to the quiz questions.

By Jody-Lynn R

Oct 28, 2021

I don't want to pursue taking this course at this time. It does not allow me to unenroll or cancel this course.

By Aaron A

Jun 6, 2020

A lot of sections were not explained really well. I had a hard time following the concepts.

By Sidney G

Oct 19, 2020

The lecture is good however, it is difficult to understand because of the stuttering.

By Matthew E

Apr 27, 2020

Some interesting ideas, but course delivery and content needs a lot of work.

By Ramkumar

Apr 22, 2020

i don't know how this course is going to help in computer scien

By Luis M V F

Jan 9, 2020

This course lacks of mathematical foundations.

By Assael M

May 10, 2021

course material was great

By Ganesh P

Mar 23, 2021

I can't figure out what direction the course is going, and what the end goal is each lesson or in general. I don't feel like i'm learning anything objective but that i'm just being presented with loose and abstract ideas, that can't be applied anywhere.

You need to watch the video a couple of times to understand what they are talking about and even then you don't know why we are learning to solve that puzzle, what can be taken away from it that is useful anywhere else.


There is no refund, so I cancelled my subscription but watch everyday anyways to get my money's worth, hoping to see if by chance i find something useful to apply in my programming, but it's fruitless. Even by the poll results from quizzes, you can tell, most people aren't following.

To think this is course is provided by a university. Youtube provides much better content for free and I just found a good course

By Chanon B

Jun 28, 2021

I'd give this 0 stars if I could. Don't be baited by the "University of California" subtext, it's 100% taught by professors from HSE University in Russia. There's a language barrier; I understand that English is not their first language, but since lectures are all pre-recorded there's no excuse for stuttering and stumbling through a pre-written script, especially not for "lectures" that are only a few minutes long at most. Homework and assignments are child's play, but also with no real feedback.

By Khan S H

May 21, 2020

week 2 to week 5 does not cover much, especially does not provide any clue how that could be used in computer science. It shows many ways to solve the problem but give zero direction how one could think about a new problem. When you have a new problem, you do not know which theory will apply. How should we think to decide which theory will work, this should be covered.

By Helen W

Aug 23, 2022

This course is generally horrible! Quizzes are given before the course material is introduced. Logic is twisted in mathemathical examples. Instructor is personna non grata. People would be wasting their time if they expect this course to help with their programming skills. I regret taking this course.

By Onur S S

Sep 3, 2020

I'd give 5 star, i just wanna indicate a problem. After week 3, 3rd party puzzle app links are broken. I can't do exercises. I see '502 Bad Gateway nginx/1.18.0' error on my page. Apart from this, course is awesome.

By Riley K

Jun 15, 2021

Link for quiz tool did not work and wasn't fixed after a month. The order of the units seemed like it made little sense in my opinion. Some questions were worded poorly or crucial information was left out or vague

By rajinder s s

Dec 13, 2020

I did not get much from the course. while the material is interesting but somehow some instructors lack the ability to explain things very clearly.