May 30, 2019
Exceptional coverage of optimization fundamentals. Learning of practical applied methods. Real university level course, no water down "data science". Absolutely love it! Thank you professor Pascal.
Feb 06, 2017
I like the instructor teaching approach and the evaluation system, the subject itself took me a lot of effort and i think the LNS technique should be teached just after local search.
par Amin F•
Sep 10, 2017
This is a fun and challenging course! Without doubt the most challenging courses I've ever done in coursera!
I have a few suggestions for anyone who is considering to start this course:
1- You have to be a skillful programmer, be comfortable with algorithm design, tree and graphs structures and recursion. Also a general knowledge of models are useful.
2- You have to have enough patience to watch loooooooong videos (but the professor teaches in a pretty awesome and in times, hilarious ways!)
3- You really need to spend +15 hours per week on this course, not only the videos for each week is long but also each programming assignment will take tremendous amount of your time!
4- And finally you should be tough and not give up and sometimes have the courage to write your code again from scratch after failure!
par Melissa J•
Nov 03, 2018
Very difficult. Harder than pretty much all of the courses I've taken in college, more or less, based on how much material is covered and the amount of research you have to do on top of the lectures in order to just get a passing grade on the assignments. Definitely a grad level course, probably harder than most grad level courses I've taken in college just for the amount of effort needed to get a perfect score on all assignments (unfortunately it depends on how good of a computer you have to run your solutions). The challenge just makes it even more fun. Lectures barely covers anything needed to do the assignments, which just gives you a surface level introduction to the concepts needed to solve the problems. The discussion forum is crucial to getting good guidance on how to solve the problems. Pretty much all of the assignments involved doing your own research and reading a bunch of problem-related research papers to figure out what you want to use for your own implementations. I had a blast learning, and thank you so much for offering this course on coursera.
par Zhu L•
Jul 04, 2017
I guess this could be the most challenging course I've had on Coursera.
1, almost all assignments are NP-hard combinatorial optimization problems.
2, data scale can be huge, assessment criteria can be strict.
3. choosing between CP, MIP solver and all kinds of stochastic and meta-heuristic algorithms is fun, gives you the chance to learn both with hands-on experience.
4. even discouraged from doing so, you'll still read a lot of research papers, about 20+ for me.
5. several thousands of SLOC to be expected, if you're honest with yourself.
6. even if you're looking to cheat your way through, you still need solid programming ability and understanding of the problem to do it, so don't bother, why ruin all the fun?
7. the facility location problem drove me nuts.
8. randomization is Pandora's box.
par Philippe C•
Jul 19, 2018
Great course, very challenging as problems are NP-hard and hence force you to find the right approaches for various problem set sizes. After a while, you get hooked and tried to find better and better solutions, reviewing videos for overlooked information, looking at research papers and available resources on the net. Programming times are only a minimum and I spent much more time than indicated.
par Greg K•
Dec 23, 2018
The most challenging course that I've ever enrolled in. The instruction videos are just a 30% of what it takes to get perfect score on the assignments. Its the only course that I feel it was totally worth the time trying to complete it at 100%. Amazing instructor, and I'm totally gonna keep and revisit all of the course videos.
par Max B•
Jan 24, 2017
This course is absoutely excellent. It has really time consuming and challenging programming assignments, but I learned more than I have in a long while. I could not recommend this course more highly, and I have completed 20+ MOOCs. This is one of the best ones by far. :D
par Paweł W•
Sep 01, 2018
Most difficult on-line course I've ever had. Demanding and engaging at the same time. Good luck to people without IT background :D.
par Ioan A C•
Nov 24, 2016
While doing Tim Roughgarden's Algorithms course (https://www.coursera.org/specializations/algorithms) I became interested about the topic of solving NP-hard problems and wanted more. That's how I bumped into this course. I'm VERY happy I did. I never had so much fun programming since I was in high school. The assignments are tough and time consuming and super addictive. Don't be surprised if you find yourself at 5:00 AM trying to squeeze a slightly better solution then what you currently have.
The course covers a lot of material: constraint programming, local search heuristics and meta-heuristics, linear and mixed integer programming. I think each of these topics could be extended and made into separate course. If you want to get a thorough understanding of all of the presented topics, you're gonna have to go through the additional materials. However, prof. Pascal Van Hentenryck is an excellent teacher so even though you don't have a thorough understanding of everything, things are gonna make sense and feel very natural and intuitive. Dr. Carleton Coffrin is also very active on the forums, constantly answering questions or encouraging interesting conversations. I've never seen a MOOC which such actively involved staff.
Bottom line, if you have10+ hours/week and you like CS, definitely take this one.
par Akash S•
Jul 02, 2019
I am sure this is the best course out there to help students/Professionals to understand the complexity of the optimization problems specially designed and explained by Professor Pascal Van Hentenryck in his own hilarious style . The assignments are really challenging and make you up to try different strategies. Most of the times the classical approaches like Mixed Integer programming and Constraint Programming fail to provide solution in a reasonable time.But that's when you become of intuitive developing your own ideas/ heuristics.This course covers a lot of optimization concepts like dynamic programming, Constraint Programming ,Mixed Integer programming and Local search.
Waiting for the next one!.. Till then keep optimizing ....
par Aditya U S•
Mar 31, 2019
Truly challenging course. Had enrolled out of curiosity. Before starting had only basic knowledge on combinatorial optimization. The course content is good and the course theme is basically exploratory. Really a dense course if determined to study in depth.The instructor is brilliant and his teaching style keeps you motivated all the time. The assignments are good and requires you to think thoroughly about the problem. Getting a higher grade is obviously challenging if you are a newbie to this topic, although scoring a decent grade is definitely possible. Overall loved the experience.
par Manuel A•
Sep 08, 2019
A very comprehensive and challening course on optimization. Algorithms are explained at a high level and is up to the student to implement them (on any language, but Python is sugested). Canonical problems in optimization are tackled, such as TSP, VRP and facility location. As a Data Scientist with no Computer Science background, implementing those algorithms to pass assignmets have been very challenging. Industrial solvers like ortools, gurobi, etc. can be used, but they are not covered.
par Marcin W•
Dec 23, 2016
One of the best and most interesting courses I have taken a part in. Very demanding and frustrating sometimes but absolutely brilliant. Interesting lectures, problems to solve, etc. Small improvement in my opinion can be achieved in two areas:
1. I could not get used to instructor's showmanship and he sometimes covers up the slides.
2. I would suggest changing submission format not to post code but solution. In this case we would not be limited in programming language's choice.
par Li H•
Jan 06, 2018
The programming assignments of this course are very challenge and the pursuit of the 'Good Optimization' is torturous, especially after Knapsack Problem, such as the TSP, Facility Problem and VRP. However, the sense of achievement gained when you passed the online judge is also unspeakable. Last but not least, Professor Pascal Van Hentenryck is really a nice man, he is humorous and charming. Wish you a memorable and nice experiences on the on the journey of OPTIMIZATION.
par Øystein S•
Jun 27, 2018
Good course. The instructor is really a fast talker and it may be hard to grasp everything at the first time you watch the videos. About the assignments: The assignments are really hard. Yes! Really really hard. I've never taken any MOOC course where the assignments are so hard. Al in all, I can say that this course really thought me something about discrete optimization, and I would love to learn even more about this interesting field.
par Anders A•
Sep 19, 2018
This is my fifth or sixt online course on coursera, and it is without a doubt the best one I have done. Apart from the little goofy start with Indiana Jones, I simple loved the course. There was a lot of useful material covering what would have been several courses at my university. The assignments were challenging, sometimes frustrating, but really fun as well. I had a lot of fun doing this course.
par Shihan, Z•
Jul 05, 2019
I appreciate the enthusiasm from the professor's teaching. Also the quality of the homework is very high, which help me deeply understand the concept about optimization methods. I highly recommend this course to all the people who desire the basic knowledge about NP-hard problem, and optimization thought.
par Edmund L•
Sep 28, 2019
Difficult course, but rewarding once you have completed the assignments. This course presents a variety of discrete optimization problems to be solved. Great course overall, although I wish the course is structured such that we don't need to read research papers to complete the assignments.
par Aliaksei K•
Jul 16, 2017
One of the most challenging and interesting sources among all that I've passed so far. The lector has it's own hilarious style of teaching. All the material is carefully created and well structured. Every time that you pass the programming assignment, you feel that it's a real achievement.
par Andrew K•
Oct 30, 2019
Best course I have done so far on Coursera. The assignments are the best part of the course and are very challenging but ensure that you learn and understand the material. You will want to have some programming experience as you will need to code optimization algorithms from scratch.
Jan 22, 2020
I was surprised how clear are the Lectures. It's such fun taking this course. We use the techniques (Dynamic Progrmaming, Local Search, etc) to solve those NP-complete problems. Highly recommond it to anyone who wants to refresh their optimization skills.
par Chitrang S•
Mar 31, 2019
Excellent Course, I would highly recommend for all algorithmist and programmers. It step by steps teaches how to approach NP-hard problems. The way the professor teaches make this highly difficult subject easy. Of-course assignments are very challenging.
Aug 26, 2019
The best course on Coursera. Unlike the do-it-by-rote Deep Learning classes, there is much creativity and freedom in tackling all assignments. The assignments are stimulating, challenging, and approximate real life problem solving very well.
par Carlos V•
Apr 02, 2017
If you want to understand better optimization techniques, this is an excellent Course, the explanations and examples are one of the best, the Course is also very challenging but worth the time and effort, you will learn a lot.
par Mr. J•
Jul 03, 2019
Brilliant examination of the basic central aspect of discrete Optimization
I found the projects to be enjoyable and challenging
I elected to not use libraries to make my solutions.
Working the projects improved my Python.
par Masood J K•
Jun 21, 2019
Great lectures and helpful homework. The assignments were really hard but it was worth it. I learned a lot from them. The only thing I can put a comment on is that the Brach and Bound method was not taught clearly.