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Willie McLean

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  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
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I've just finished the first offering of this course and I absolutely loved it. It was hard but extremely rewarding. Go for it if you're up for the challenge - you'll have a blast! The course format was slightly unusual in that all of the material, including all of the problem sets, was made available from the start. Several different techniques were introduced and students were encouraged to try them on the various problems, the point being to emphasise that no one method is necessarily ideal even within a single class of problem. Prof. van Hentenryck exhibited huge enthusiasm for the subject matter and there was lively discussion amongst students on the forum with frequent input from tireless staff member, Carleton, as well as from the professor, himself. I came in to the course with zero prior experience of the subject matter. Consequently, I faced a pretty steep learning curve and had to put in rather a lot of hours to get there. Furthermore, the nature of the problems means that there is often the possibility of revisiting them, armed with new ideas, to try to achieve a better solution. The "12+ hrs" workload categorisation is a very relaxed lower bound on the time I spent. This course has the potential to eat up your every spare moment, not because you have to, but because you want to...