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Khadija Niazi

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This course has been an amazing journey for me. This course first caught my eye in September 2012. I enrolled in this course out of curiosity but to my amazement, I found this course very challenging but at the same time very interesting as well. I remember being very confused at the sight of the lectures. So I decided to unenroll and take the next iteration, when I had better knowledge. So I decided to take the next iteration, that came in September 2013, at my own pace because I wanted to take this course pressure- free. So that the material could really sink in better before I take this course for real. I watched all the lectures and attempted all the quizzes. The only things I didn't do were the assignments and the test-flight because that required a live course with active forums. I was really surprised at the intricacy of this course. So finally the day came, February 3rd 2014, the day when I was going to start this course for real. After watching the lectures and attempting the quizzes, I realized that my understanding had already begun to improve. The real turning point came when I started attempting my assignments and posting them on the forum. Each week, there was a set of problems given to us. We were recommended and encouraged to attempt these questions and discuss it with your peers. When I looked at the solutions of other people, I realized how to make my solution better. The main goal of the course is to make the student see mathematics in a different way. Not only as a tool for calculation but as a universal language which polishes your understanding. After mastering this language, the student is able to solve problems efficiently and formulate thinking process which helps them in this course. Moreover with the help of mathematics we can understand the problems better by visualizing an image of the problem and translating the problem into a mathematical statement. This is the first and most important step to gain success in this course. In my opinion there were many plus points in this course, which made it unique and one of the best: For me, this course needs your active participation in the forums if you are a beginner. Healthy debate is encouraged by the professor and the exchange of ideas is essential. This course may be hard at first but taking it twice and discussing your problems on the forums will make you sail through this course. The other important and striking factor of this course was the non-stop, passionate interaction of the professor in the forums. He made sure to comment on as many threads and posts as possible, encouraging his students and discussing problems. He encouraged group activities but at the same time he also encouraged good working ethics. He discouraged unnecessary competitiveness and told the students to focus only on the point of this course, learning. For him, learning is the crux of this course. He once wrote: "The course is in no way set up as putting anyone in competition with anyone else. I think this is a big plus of free, open MOOCs." In my point of view, this thinking brings out the best in every student. In his course every student was actively helping their fellow peers. This course really lays the foundation of mathematical thinking. I have one suggestion though: Please make a sequel for this course because this course deserves one. There are still many things we have yet to explore. For the people who want to take this course, you may find this course hard at first but with the help of your peers and the wonderful lectures, you will be able to sail through. This course is for the people who are not afraid to try. "It's just like riding a bicycle, at first you will keep falling but then one day you will find out that you can ride and you will wonder why it seemed so hard at first." --Keith Devlin.