Profile

Winthrop Yu profile image

Winthrop Yu

Student

  • 33 reviews
  • 27 completed
Content 
Instructor 
Provider 
This is a long (11 week) course and ii'm not quite at the halfway mark, but i'm glad i enrolled. Why? ... a) The issues of Democracy and democratic stability are particularly important to me as i live in a developing country, democracy? . b) Prof. Diamond does an excellent job of explaining various concepts and aspects of democracy within an organized framework with references to multiple geographical, political and religious contexts. c) The professor and his team are responsive to student input. N.B. I've rated the course "easy" and given it a 3 hour time cost because i've not included the optional Readings in this rating. If you do the Readings as i do, figure on an hour or two more per week, though these would certainly be well-spent hours. I'll update/revise the review when i've completed the course.
Content 
Instructor 
Provider 
Prof. Gautam Kaul covers all the basics using clear, simple explanations with much personal wit and charm. Lectures and other material are very well produced. This course does require time and effort, but is suitable for those with no prior background. Most of the computations are just arithmetic, but you still have to work through them carefully. Also, the weekly quizzes will have questions that are a bit more detailed than the lecture examples. One last caveat -- some of those test questions can be tricky. :) Highly recommended!
Content 
Instructor 
Provider 
On the plus side, it *seems* like a short course - only 6 weeks. Ameliorating circumstances - this is the first version/iteration of the course; and will hopefully be completely redone in the future. Issues: a) Production I (Audio) - Extremely poor audio. Room microphones (for ambiance?) pick-up everything and amplify it (e.g. coughs, paper rustling, chairs scraping, etc.) Professor's voice is soft and tends to trail-off. Thus the lecture is over- ridden by ambient noise, often at critical points in the explanation. b) Production II (Video) - Camera tends to focus on the professor rather than on slides or what the professor is writing and referring to. c) Even if one could understand them, the poor quality video lectures do not cover all the questions in the tests. Students are instead told to study the (PDF) lecture notes. The notes and slides don't cover all the material either. Good textbook, but only one chapter is provided, so you have to buy the ebook from the publisher to get the rest. Ebook publisher's proprietary and DRM-ed reader is a pain according to forums. d) Test questions are vague. Also, errors in test scoring. e) The weekly "practice sets" (quizzes) count for only 25% of the grade. At the end, a Case Study weighs 25% and the Final Exam counts as 50% of your final grade. ~~~~ I'd love to continue with this course if only to audit and see how the entire course turns-out. But the time demands exacerbated by flawed production and execution of this course imply an opportunity cost that i cannot afford at this time. Recommendation - Even if you're interested, wait until they iron-out the kinks and someone writes a more positive review. Or, take one of the (better produced) Intro Finance courses from other institutions.
Content 
Instructor 
Provider 
I had to drop this course due to time constraints, and considering i had just completed another "Network" course. I have it on my watchlist and may take it up again in the future. Prof. Kearns explains the subject very well and the course material is excellent. The issue (for me) here was the detail -- there's lots of it and it's not something you can readily absorb if you're in the middle of personal crunch-time. Downside - perhaps too much detail.
Content 
Instructor 
Provider 
Good syllabus - starting with (development of) foreign relations policy within the US, then going through each of the major geographical regions in turn. The professor explains the material in a clear and organized manner. I've just finished week 2 (Asia, my home region) and can say that the material and the analysis is relevant and pretty much spot-on. I am looking forward to the subsequent weeks and will update this review when i've completed the course.
Content 
Instructor 
Provider 
Just listen to and watch the videos carefully and this course will take you on a leisurely tour of modern history. Join the course, then ... make yourself comfortable! :)
Content 
Instructor 
Provider 
An excellent overview of various perspectives on organizations. McFarland explains and conveys the material very well, plus much of the learning is immediately and practically applicable. Warning: this course does require focus and time commitment to do well.
Content 
Instructor 
Provider 
Excellent overview of international criminal law and international courts of justice. Very well produced and readily accessible even for those with no background in law. The discussions in the forums can get very interesting and are well worth the time. One issue is that events in this domain are moving and changing quickly. So i expect that some of the material will need to be continuously updated.
Content 
Instructor 
Provider 
Interesting (even classic) examples and workable framework. Course material is easily accessible. Major downside - the Peer Assessment system. So do take this course o hear the interesting anecdotes and gain a matrix against which you can assess past and existing organizations. But in the end, don't expect to have learned how to avoid, much less survive, disruption.
Content 
Instructor 
Provider 
I took this course as i was planning to recommend it to a business - a technical call center that needed to improve their personnel's written English. While i personally enjoyed the course, i'm not quite sure i can recommend it, primarily for two reasons: a) Excessive emphasis on the nomenclature of English syntax - While everyone needs to be able to distinguish between the basic building blocks, i am not quite sure that precise identification of, for example, all the types of clauses would be practically useful. b) Flaws in the peer assessment system - In one grading comment, i was rudely criticized by someone who was obviously a non-native English speaker. :) Incidents like these can have a damaging effect, particularly in a work environment implementation. On the plus side - great teachers who explained things very clearly.
Content 
Instructor 
Provider 
Good introduction to the subject matter, accessible even to those with little or no background in either law or economics. One thing though ... while i'm a dog person myself, the course could be improved with more focused and clearer explication of the topics.
Content 
Instructor 
Provider 
My very first MOOC was the first version of this class. We got to meet Doc Chuck in person too! I thought i knew all about the history of the Internet, i've delivered talks on it. But Dr. Severance brings not only only-heard-now anecdotes, but also a pioneer's perspective and nuance. Bottom-line: even if you think you know your Internet history, take this course! P.S. Since this was my very first MOOC, and since my experience was so positive, then this may explain why i'm now a Coursera-junkie :)
Content 
Instructor 
Provider 
The course is a sampling review of various aspects of Latin American culture. Despite excellent production values, the video lectures could be improved as the lectures do not provide much analysis or depth into the topics being discussed. Takeaways from this course derive primarily from the Readings, which can be quite lengthy. Final word -- good to try, but am hoping that future versions of this course will be more substantial.
Content 
Instructor 
Provider 
The course is not a comprehensive overview, but it's a good introductory sampling of various aspects of that domain. Each week has a different set of presentors, most of whom deliver their material very well, and all of whom are knowledgeable in their fields. Future versions of the course could improve on this, perhaps with extended length, expanded coverage and a more structured course organization. But even as is, i'd recommend the course to anyone with an interest in this or related fields.
Content 
Instructor 
Provider 
The research the Professor and his colleagues have undertaken is important and interesting. Nevertheless i felt that the focus was much too narrow for a title like "New History". The Professor does explain his material very clearly indeed, and (towards the end of this initial course) indicates that the second in the series will be broader and deeper and less constrained to a single research thrust. I have this second course on my watchlist.
Content 
Instructor 
Provider 
Could be better. Touches on some of the basics, but organization of the material leaves much to be desired. Some of the "war story" anecdotes are interesting, but most are rambling and post-production editing is poor. The professor herself is clearly a knowledgeable and dedicated professional, as are many of her guests, but overall course production comes across as a sloppy rehash of archive videos.
Content 
Instructor 
Provider 
Excellent course organization with good coverage. The professor explains the material very well (once you get past his "ahhhs" and the accent. :) However, the implementation of the peer assessment system leaves much to be desired.
Content 
Instructor 
Provider 
Good introductory overview to malware, though the course could be extended a bit to cover more detail. Prior knowledge of computer architecture is not only recommended, it should be required (e.g. there's Assembler in week 2), else the material and concepts are readily accessible. There were some technical issues during the 1st version of the class (e.g. insufficient focus on slides and material), but the professor and teaching/production staff are very open to suggestions and i expect the next version to be much improved.
Content 
Instructor 
Provider 
Fair introduction to the subject, with a focus on innovation and processes rather than China proper. Some technical difficulties during the first version of this course, and peer assessments are far from ideal. Nevertheless, the professor, teaching assistants and production crew are very open to suggestions to improve the course, so i have the second part of this series on my watchlist.
Content 
Instructor 
Provider 
There are bits of science sprinkled over the course, but this course (and the video camera) tends to focus more on production values (like a cooking show) rather than the science (e.g. the slides and scientific explanations). Nevertheless, it's certainly interesting and you get a really lively teacher (at least during the first part).
Content 
Instructor 
Provider 
An excellent overview of business models (shareholder versus stakeholder) by a very sincere and passionate teacher. If you're wondering if there's more to your job and life than just promotions and raises, this course is a practical must.
Content 
Instructor 
Provider 
An excellent leadership course that provides a framework and not just self- motivation or cheer-leading. Major takeaway is that the examples and exercises are immediately and directly applicable to work and other social situations.
Content 
Instructor 
Provider 
Short and easy, perhaps lacking detail and quantitative treatment. But this is exactly the kind of introductory overview you want to take if you have zero background on the subject.
Content 
Instructor 
Provider 
Since i do have some familiarity with Statistics, the syllabus looked good. But the student has to learn the "R" programming system at the same time as he/she is absorbing the concepts and doing the calculations. Course would be better if a week or two were devoted to learning the R programming system, but the course is already rather lengthy as it is. Definitely NOT "friendly".
Content 
Instructor 
Provider 
Comprehensive yet easily accessible course on thinking and logic. Both instructors explained the material very well. But for some strange reason ... while i could both absorb and retain Prof. Walter's material, i didn't retain Prof. Ram's talks all that well.
Content 
Instructor 
Provider 
Good introduction to thinking with important global issues as examples. Easily accessible, yet forces you to think carefully about issues. Course could be better if extended a bit with more examples.
Content 
Instructor 
Provider 
Actually a very interesting course, but requires considerable prior knowledge of chemistry and biology (the course requirements need to be edited to reflect this). Even if i was unfamiliar with the background domains, i tried the 1st quiz and got 60+.
Content 
Instructor 
Provider 
An excellent overview of modern history with a very strong social orientation. You can take this course at your leisure. Sorry, but no certificates are provided for completing the course.
Content 
Instructor 
Provider 
Python is an excellent first programming language, and there are many good intro courses (in various languages) out there, but none is as much fun as this one. You'll have to work at it though. :)
Content 
Instructor 
Provider 
An accessible introduction to the basic legal framework of the EU. Very clearly explained and easy to absorb, but there are quite a number of details and many nuances to keep in mind. Consider quiz questions carefully before answering and you'll be fine. Well worth the effort!
Content 
Instructor 
Provider 
Covers the basics in a very engaging and accessible manner, never a dull moment. Do be careful when doing the exercises, slow and easy is best. When you're done with the work, have a beer and some barbecue at the Black Dog Smoke & Ale House :)
Content 
Instructor 
Provider 
Carefully explains concepts, not just the mechanics of programming, in "baby steps". Uses a freely available software that is easy to set-up and use.
Content 
Instructor 
Provider 
Very comprehensive basic course. Very well taught/explained, so concepts are readily grasped. Difficulty level is high due to much computational work, but only arithmetic and some (very) basic algebra is required. Don't panic (i nearly did), when the going get's a bit hairy towards the middle of the course. Well worth the effort.