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Nikhil sarpotdar profile image
Nikhil sarpotdar profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 4 reviews
  • 4 completed
5 years, 11 months ago
This is a great course. I did not have any background in the material and it was fund to learn a lot of the concepts. If you know basic linear algebra (and little bit of vector math) this class shouldn't be ... This is a great course. I did not have any background in the material and it was fund to learn a lot of the concepts. If you know basic linear algebra (and little bit of vector math) this class shouldn't be too difficult. Joe Konstan has been in this field for a long time and is well known in the field (a lot of papers reference joe's papers). The workload is on a larger side, which is true for most of the computer science courses as well. A distinction about this MOOC was we were taking it in parallel with university of Minnesota students taking it for credit at their school. As a result the course was setup to be a normal "university level course" together with timed midterms and final exams and a lot of written and programming assignments. Studying for the exams and all the assignments took up a lot of my time (the course itself is not hard to follow/understand) I have the following suggestions for improvements: 1) De-couple lenksit from the assignments. I did all my assignments in R. The DB is fairly small that it can be easily done in R. Also structures dealing with matrices and dot products and vector magnitudes should be done in R (which is optimized for it) than java. If you cannot/do not want to decouple lenskit please add one more week of instructions to go over java concepts and lenskit concepts (which you already do) that will be needed in the course. There is no need to know java. People knowing any programming language can take this course. 2) The course is all encompassing overview of the the field, combining technical aspects together with business considerations. I appreciated that very much. Whats the point of a recommender system that is technically sound but doesn't do a good job of helping a business meet its need ( i.e RMSE is low but lift is low as well). I feel however there was too much static text on the slides. the slides can be made better to have more figures, more movement etc. I appreciate the fact that in some of the videos the professors derived the formula on screen with hand. That made it less mundane. 3) Finally it seemed that the class needs to be freshened up. While we did have a lot of interviews with experts in the field (I particularly like the interview with Netflix and LinkedIn since that is a contemporary use of the recommender system by companies to actually sell their products and make money) it seemed that we were reading papers and learning algorithms that were 10 years old now. Should we be learning something that is more contemporary? Thanks a lot nevertheless. I enjoyed the class a lot and appreciate your efforts (obviously a lot of it) in putting the class together. I learned a lot as well an would recommend it to anyone interested in learning about recommender systems.
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Mario Gómez Martínez profile image
Mario Gómez Martínez profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 3 reviews
  • 3 completed
5 years, 8 months ago
I really enjoyed taking this course. Format & Contents: For an introductory course it was quite extense and detailed. The course described all the major paradigms in recommender systems, spiced with plenty o... I really enjoyed taking this course. Format & Contents: For an introductory course it was quite extense and detailed. The course described all the major paradigms in recommender systems, spiced with plenty of extra material, mostly in the form of interviews with academy and industry experts in the field. Material: The qualtiy of the presentation was fine, the style was rather classic, not funny but professional, definetely plenty of interesting and useful content, but often long and demanding. The complementary material was also interesting (some reviews and other papers). Assessment: One of the most thorough assessment systems I have seen so far in a MOOC, especially for the intense use of peer-to-peer assessment. In general I think both the quizzess and the programming assignments were appropiate. It is possible to pass the course while not taking the programming assignments, although I strongly recommend the programming part of it. Note than any computer language can be used, as far as one is able to implement the required algorithms. Overall: All in all I highly recommend this course, and I strongly recommend taking also the programming track. It is a very demanding course, challenging at some points, but the material is great and with effort there is much to learn from it.
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