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

4.4
stars
2,117 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

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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.

AM

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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201 - 225 of 486 Reviews for Mathematical Thinking in Computer Science

By Rob R

Sep 17, 2021

I found some of the questions difficult to understand, but I couldn't tell if my misunderstanding was because of the concepts being new, or if the wording of the question was just odd. The course might benefit from a second pass by a native English speaker on the quiz portions - test are already incredibly stressful even when they are super clear. Aside from that though, the course was great. I learned a few new ways to look at problems which I think will help me in my day to day work. I found the instructors very knowledgeable and funny as well.

Keep up the good work!

By 4101_Ridesh R

Jul 10, 2020

The Course is Good overall but the entire lectures in Week 6 is not clear to me . Alexander sir done a great job in Week 1 and 2 but not that great in Week 6. Even though I re-watched the lectures again, I can't able to get full information given in the videos......I struggled so much in Quiz questions of Week 6...

By Olga V

Feb 20, 2022

I generally liked the course. However, it wasn't clear from the beginning that you need to know how to code before starting this course. This was a rather upsetting discovery, as I was under the impression that I will learn how to code during this course as well as get a better grasp of mathematical thinking.

By Farid H

Dec 22, 2018

The last one was a little bit hard, still couldn't write the code for the 15 puzzle game. Did it just by intuitive trial error

By Timothy L

Mar 21, 2018

Broken English and an inflated $79 to take practice tests, but the professor is knowledgeable and makes proofs fun.

By Gaurav M

Jul 8, 2020

Week 6 could have been improved, apart from that excellent!!

By Amritya V D

Feb 12, 2019

very very fun way to understand simple things

By Sebastian M

Mar 29, 2020

I definitely learned a thing or two about types of proofs, but this class could have been constructed much better. The biggest flaw was that even after going through the entire course, the professors only rarely connected the material to computer science, despite the course being called "Mathematical Thinking in Computer Science". I appreciate their approach of "solve puzzle" -> "learn about relevant proof to be able more efficiently solve similar puzzles" but the course would be better if they tied each concept into computer science / algorithms etc at the end of each section. Beyond that, there are some general course construction issues. The professors often make mistakes in the videos, but rather than actually fix the videos, they just put a comment screen over the video pointing out the error. Speaking of the comment screens, they often ask questions relevant to the lecture, but they cover the whole screen and you can't actually see the content they are asking about, so you have to skip the question, go back, and then let the comment screen appear again before you can reasonably attempt to answer the question; this is an annoying process. To improve this, the content needed to answer each question should be shown within the comment screen itself.

By Daniel S

Jan 19, 2019

Some of the explanations of concepts was just not clear and there were many verbal errors and some really odd editing in many of the videos. Overall the quality of this course is so so.

By M. A

Jul 17, 2020

In order to complete this class, you need experience in programming and problem solving using a programming language.

By Robin H

Nov 5, 2020

Interesting but needs MUCH better instruction. I'm sure the people teaching this really know their stuff but the students need to be able to understand it. Not even considering the heavy accents making the instructors hard to understand at some times, the instructors are just not good teachers. In order for someone to be a good instructor they have to know the content AND be able to explain the content so that someone without knowledge of the content can easily follow and understand. I felt like most of what they said was reading or paraphrasing power point slides and this course seemed more like a 'review' course for someone who had already been taught the concepts previously. Many times the course flow seemed unorganized as well. Having to program was also a problem when the course was not supposed to have prerequisites as a 'beginner' course. I want to take more courses in this specialization but am worried to do so since these guys teach the other classes as I'm sure the instruction will be pretty bad as well but further complicated by more difficult concepts.

By Maria S

Apr 6, 2021

The instructor seems super nice and friendly and smart, buuuut. I'm not sure if there is a more methodical way to teach this material, I just find the presentation of the puzzles very frustrating. It's not really clicking for me to keep watching examples, and after a couple of weeks, I still feel like I'm not really learning anything -- just feel like I'm watching someone show me 'tricks' to solve puzzles in the hopes that some pattern will suddenly spark a light bulb. At every step of the way, I keep thinking 'nope, still not getting it', 'nope, that hint didn't work for me', 'nope, you're gonna have to explain it all the way to the end'. I can't help but feel there has to be a better way to teach mathematical thinking...

By Evgeny B

Jun 24, 2020

I will try to be objective here. I really liked the puzzles. They are very well implemented and help with understanding of the material. But this is the only thing I liked about the course. These puzzles really make up for the poor quality of the professors. Michael Levin and Alexander Shen possess an amazing quality to make even 2 minute videos simply unbearable. If you want to experience a real Soviet school style, you should definitely try try this course. Both explanations and assignments are very poorly formulated. The professors simply show you the slides and read the text from it. This is by far the worst course I took on Coursera.

By S. U

Aug 9, 2020

Interesting topics, lots of puzzles, but lacks structure. Lectures are well-prepared, but as someone new to this space, I would have preferred a bit more structure to the learning, with a clearer idea of how we would incorporate the concepts into something more than simply solving odd parlor trick puzzles.

As it stands now, I'm not confident I would recognize when I would be able to deploy any of the skills/concepts taught in the course. A shame, because the instructors are easy to follow and engaging.

By Richard K

Apr 5, 2021

Overall I found the quality of the course quite poor. The course is offered by "University of San Diego", however all of the lecturers are Russian, which is a bit confusing. I don't mind the fact that they're Russian, however the content of the course (lectures/quizzes/puzzles) is full of (English) mistakes, and quite a few questions/answers have been worded in such a way that they don't really make sense. This course clearly hasn't been reviewed by a copywriter.

By Andrés M

Jul 3, 2021

As much as I liked this course, I wouldn't recommend it. I felt there was a language barrier, using sloppy English for an academic environment. Pronunciation was often hard to understand. And I found the teaching methods often to being too rough in the spirit of being more "challenging". Definitely not what I was expecting from an North American University.

By Jeffrey W

Nov 3, 2020

Not great quality of teaching. They made lots of assumptions about what you knew and could have explained things a lot more comprehensively. They also made a lot of mistakes In their speaking, and corrected them with numerous on screen corrections, which made It hard to get Into the flow of the class.

By DINKAR S K 2

May 27, 2021

The course itself is good. Easy to hard problems. But the external tools which helps you in solving puzzles does not work. So, you will be unable to get through the course. This may be perfectly OK if you care about the grades, but not if you really want to learn.

By Nijat A

Oct 29, 2020

I personally think the content could have been better structured and explained - I had to frequently refer to other materials on the internet to understand some of the concepts. Also, the programming task in Week 6 is not designed for a beginner such as myself.

By Balakumaran

Apr 12, 2020

The worst course I have ever taken. Concepts have been explained very poorly. Please please don't waste time on learning this course.

By James C D

May 10, 2021

I'd like to unenroll, but coursera does not show an option to do so!

By Nrupa S

Oct 5, 2020

I want to unenroll

By Aprotim B

Nov 1, 2022

This was a great course with great explanation. Thank you Coursera for providing me financial aid and thank you University of California for making this wonderful course.

By Gibran E C

Jan 2, 2018

Awesome course. You'll need some basic python for it.

By Robin D

May 7, 2021

Very fun course, loved the interactive assignments.