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Volker Hadamschek

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  • 3 reviews
  • 1 completed
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Top research, but very bad teaching. This course tries to give an overview about the thrilling field of Systems Biology and simultaneously it tries to introduce you to the state of the art. There are multiple severe issues with this course: The content is very hard for an introductory one (you need at least know a lot of details of cell biology, metabolism, see e.g. Campbell until chapter "cell communication"). But the sheets are overwhelming. More than 20 nodes in a presented graph diagram and 60 words per sheet are normal for this course. Speech is very boring. On the other hand, quizzes are way too simple so far. They do not help to dive into the complex material. Peer assignments can be solved by automatic text searches in the required readings and then copy-and-paste the strings to the answer boxes. I was very much looking forward for this specialization, but now I am strongly considering to quit. I simply feel that I invest quite a lot of time without learning the important things or at least getting an idea of the forest behind the trees. The creators of this course obviously wanted too much and are lacking experience/feedback from comparable MOOCs.
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I like this course a lot. It is much harder than course 1 of this coursera specialization which makes sense. It suprised me in a positive way that a lot of focus is on maths and on the intuition behind it which is valuable. Emily Fox is a wonderful teacher. Still I doubt how much of the content is relevant for practice. I am a kaggler and for this, there are more important techniques like boosting and so on which often get the short end of the stick in MOOCs. This seems also to be the case for the spezialization containing this course. Putting it short, I am not fully convinced in contrast to other people that we should put a lot of effort in linear regression to master machine learning. Nevertheless wonderfully presented course with depth. Recommended, especially for beginners to intermediates!
Content 
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Wonderful course. I was sceptic in the beginning that contents would be too blurry. But I was wrong. You get super-useful ideas and very, very inspiring methods delivered from different point of views. And all this on solid scientific, in particular neuro-biological background. What more can you expect from 4 weeks of easy-to- digest and colorful presentations, interviews, quizzes and assignments which are all thoughtfully created. This was the first Coursera course which demanded some money from me to get ANY kind of statement of accomplishment. What a great investment.