Jan 20, 2017
I liked the fact that the algorithms are not just the introductory searching and sorting algorithms. The assignments are fairly difficult (I have decent scripting experience), but not impossibly so.
Sep 29, 2017
good course, I like the fact you can use a lot of languages for you programming exercises, the content is really helpful, I would like to have more indications from the grading system to save time.
par Timmy J•
Nov 28, 2017
Thank you to all the instructors for this wonderful course. I know that it must have taken a tremendous amount of preparation to not only get the course contents in this wonderful format and order, but also preparing the assignments in such an enjoyable and edificational format.
I would like to thank Mr. Kulikov and Mr. Levin in particular for their wonderfully fluid, pithy, and powerful teaching style. I am taking the Data Structures course in parallel, and I find the teaching style of Mr. Kulikov in particular works beautifully for me personally.
The greatest takeway for me from this course is my newly-found confidence in Problem Solving, not merely learning the algorithms themselves, and this is a skill that the course content forced me to learn through hard work and deep thinking. Prior to this course, my proof skills were truly pathetic - I could generally come to the optimal solution through "intuition" and "gut feeling", but I could almost never prove why the solution was correct. The substantial focus of this course on proofs is an invaluable gift for those willing to partake of it.
I tremendously enjoyed this course, and again, thank all the instructors for their time and knowledge. Thank you!
Jan 05, 2018
It's been an amazing journey! I've enjoyed, struggled through and finally managed to pass the test cases for all problems. It's been amazing. I've learned a lot. And moreover I've researched a lot while working at the problems, I've used books recommended in references, some books on Python algorithms, discussion forums and google and youtube, when I got really stuck. Every next week was more challenging for me than the previous one. Two of the most challenging problems for me were closest pair of points and longest common subsequence of 3 strings. But the rest weren't much easier ;)
I'd definitely recommend this course to anybody who's just starting out in programming and who wants to boost her/his problem solving skills.
I've been using Python3 and MacBook and I didn't have any problems with grader or submissions, except for wrong answers and time limit exceed, of course :)
Thanks to all instructors, I truly appreciate the amount of work you've done to put it all together! I'm very glad I've chosen this course as a starting point in learning algorithms and data structures. Thank you!
par James B•
Sep 17, 2016
I found the assignments challenging in the absolute best sense of the term, and therefore incredibly rewarding as well! Whenever I've gotten stuck, the answer was always in the course material somewhere, even if I didn't see it there at first. The discussion forums were extremely helpful, and I was astounded to see that that instructors were still actively monitoring the discussion forums and responding to student questions. I'm obviously not an expert in this field, but I've been an educator before, and my own impression of the assignments was that they were extremely well designed: it was impossible to pass them without knowing what you were doing, the tools to approach them were always found in the lectures, and the challenge problems pushed your knowledge even farther. I would recommend the specialization to everyone. Additionally, I noticed that the content aligns well with other DS&A syllabi I have seen in brick-and-mortar institutions, especially the first 3 or 4 courses. It's also a very nice luxury to be able to submit in Python. I have certainly learned a great deal.
par Roger T•
Jun 09, 2016
Excellent coverage of algorithmic techniques in this course, with very accessible introductions to such fundamental topics as the Master Method, greedy algorithm design, and dynamic programming. This class hits the sweet spot for people who find Tim Roughgarden's Analysis and Design of Algorithms course too intense and hand-wavy, but who still want mathematically-sound, proof-based discussion of algorithmic techniques. (Listen to Roughgarden's drive-by treatment of Karatsuba's algorithm in his first week of lectures, and you will appreciate Neil Rhodes' coverage of the same algorithm all the more.) You get an introduction to a lot of "greatest hits" from Computer Science, but at a level where you come away understanding the technique. The problem sets start off with fairly easy exercises, just enough to reinforce your understanding, and progress up to exercises that will prove challenging indeed to newcomers. You will get a lot out of careful study of this course. I look forward to continuing in this specialization.
par Sergey L•
May 14, 2016
I always wanted to improve the algorithms and data structures field. The books wasn't so efficient. Especially they weren't so practical. These courses are the first courses where I really got a lot of knowledge. Especially because of assignments. All lectors are very good in explanation of the material and tell many additional useful things. These courses are the really good base, after which you can open the books related to algorithms and read more details if you needed.
I am definitely going to complete the whole specialization!
The only thing which was not convenient for me is that both courses Algorithmic Toolbox and Data Structures are started at the same time. It was difficult to find out the time for both courses and spend enough time to solve all assignments instead of only enough for passing.
Anyway, now I am started the second iteration of the course and I am going to solve all assignments which I skipped.
Big thanks to Daniel, Alex, Pavel, Neil and Mike!
par Andrey T•
May 22, 2016
This is a good course, and I liked the quality of video lectures. The material is structured and lets the students understand the basic approaches they can follow to solve algorithmic tasks.
Also a good plus is that there are assignments. First, they are of different complexity - so anyone will find an interesting task there. Second, there are prepared starter files for 3 languages - so you spend time working on algos, not on bootstrapping projects. And third - grading is automatic.
Just for fiuture - as a more engaging thing there could be also made tasks to review of other people's assignments (as it is done in other courses) and implementing a test case which makes a wrong solution to fail (which is something like TopCoder does). But this idea is too raw and needs more thinking.
par Michael B•
May 29, 2016
A great course in its own right but it also fills a void between the "Learn <programming language>" and using programming languages to analyze Big Data. The instructors have put together an excellent introduction to the wonderful, and scary, world of algorithms. I must admit I was ready to send my PC flying through the window on numerous occasions when I could not get my particular implementation of an algorithm to run within the time AND memory limits set by the instructors. More so, because often you are not told what particular test case made it fail. In the end, I believe this is a great approach to have learners really dive into the material and think about the various run times before submitting a particular solution. Well worth while your time!
par Abe E•
Aug 20, 2017
Lots of good problems. The bar to pass is very low, but I felt I actually learned by completing the whole thing. There is a forum with some helpful advice on some of the problems. The easiest problems are the ones you just copy the algorithm verbatim from the slides, but there are some more interesting problems with terrible edge cases, like the minimal distance among n points.
They follow the textbook pretty well, so you can pick up that book for cheap and read it too! I liked most of the lecturers, but a few I could have done without and ended up referencing other sources as a result. I learned a lot and will continue in the specialization.
par Theodore G•
Oct 23, 2016
Congratulations for this well-designed, informative and extremely educative course! The language agnostic way of presenting and explaining these basic but important algorithmic techniques provides an extremely useful way to better understand and further elaborate these methods by using the programming language of our choice. Of course, some programming experience in at least one language is needed, but this course can also provide a great lab to start learning others. The programming assignments and the way you have designed them (time/memory constraints) are ideal to learn designing these algorithmic techniques correctly and efficiently.
par Chen X•
Feb 18, 2019
Great practical programming assignment questions.
Some very nice lectures and problem explanations, especially in asymptotic notation and scaling, D+C, and dynamic programming 1.
Some annoying mistakes in the python3 assignment boilerplate code for inputs. Like overriding the 'input' function name with a variable.
Did not give rigid definitions of types of programming. Greedy, D+C, dynamic.
Should have been more rigid in defining problem steps in the greedy algorithms chapter. Seemed waffly.
The course textbook they recommended buying was basically just the problem statements + lecture notes. Not useful.
Overall, a solid course.
par John B•
Dec 30, 2017
This was a well developed and taught course. The programming assignments were just the right level of difficulty, and the system for submitting assignments worked very well. I learned a lot about the content, and feel stronger in my programming abilities and computer science knowledge.
The only critique I would have is that some of the slides where the algorithms are written out have some confusing notation (using w and w_i in the same line of an algorithm for one) and sometimes the index conventions seemed not to line up with the usual "starts at 0" format. Even still it was always easy to correct for this.
par N F•
Jun 21, 2019
I have been blown away by the amount of effort the designers put into this. Extremely high quality. Thank you so much for the thoughtful problems to solve, the well thought out lectures, and the many supplemental resources you've provided. Could not rate highly enough! I'll keep an eye out for any other specializations you all produce
Feb 06, 2019
This course has a wonderfully designed syllabus, and with a few exceptions, the lectures had extremely clear, lucid explanations of the underlying concepts. I got the most value out of the homeworks, each of which had several challenging problems that really reinforced the learnings from lecture. Thank you, professors!
par Quynh V•
Jan 06, 2019
I liked the fact that the algorithms are not just the introductory searching and sorting algorithms. The assignments are fairly difficult, but not impossibly so. You will practice solving computational problems, designing new algorithms, and implementing solutions efficiently (so that they run
in less than a second).
par Bikash D•
Jan 16, 2019
All i read in college is the theoretical concept about the algorithm and not it's implementation in actual programming language.
This course made me code the algorithm and in the process i learned lot about the chosen language as well as how we can efficiently write the code.
Keep up the good work!
par Abdu M•
Feb 26, 2019
Very nice course. Covers a lot of ground, theory and practice. Homework assignments are interesting. The autograder can be a pain, and most of the time you're not even sure what the problem with your algorithm is, but that's all part of the fun and challenge.
par Tuan N•
Feb 17, 2019
The instructors teach in clearly way. The assigments arenot too hard and can be solved with some google search or look in forum. Good course for beginer and also all of people who want to revise algorithms.
par Rahul s•
Dec 23, 2018
This course is just awesome and outstanding in every term. Teachers are very good at explaining even the toughest of problems and really helped throughout the course, i enjoyed and leaned a lot.
par Awaneesh K•
Jun 02, 2019
This course on algorithms is exceptionally good. Video lectures are very helpful. I especially loved exercises as each of them was unique & required a lot of brain storming.
par Mohammed R•
Jul 12, 2019
The specialty of this course is the order in which they present the manner . It is very helpful especially if you are just starting to get a hang out of it
par amar s•
Jun 27, 2019
Learned lot of thing about Algorithms,Programming And Lot More To Learn,and It's great to
complete assignment and quiz.
par Venkata P K Y B•
Jun 27, 2019
I have learned how to do stress test of two different logic, that helped me a lot while choosing the best algorithm.
par Rishi B•
Jul 11, 2019
Great learning. Now I am a tad bit more confident about my algorithm skills. Need to practice more though.
par Luis G A A•
Jun 02, 2019
Excelente curso, mientras lo realizaba recordé algunas técnicas para hacer algoritmos eficientes
par CHI C•
Mar 15, 2019
Grader system is really nice to use; it helps to improve my debugging ability a lot. Good job!