Scientific Computing

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6/10 stars
based on  4 reviews
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Cost FREE
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Course Details

Cost

FREE

Upcoming Schedule

  • TBA

Course Provider

Coursera online courses
Coursera's online classes are designed to help students achieve mastery over course material. Some of the best professors in the world - like neurobiology professor and author Peggy Mason from the University of Chicago, and computer science professor and Folding@Home director Vijay Pande - will supplement your knowledge through video lectures. They will also provide challenging assessments, interactive exercises during each lesson, and the opportunity to use a mobile app to keep up with yo...
Coursera's online classes are designed to help students achieve mastery over course material. Some of the best professors in the world - like neurobiology professor and author Peggy Mason from the University of Chicago, and computer science professor and Folding@Home director Vijay Pande - will supplement your knowledge through video lectures. They will also provide challenging assessments, interactive exercises during each lesson, and the opportunity to use a mobile app to keep up with your coursework. Coursera also partners with the US State Department to create “learning hubs” around the world. Students can get internet access, take courses, and participate in weekly in-person study groups to make learning even more collaborative. Begin your journey into the mysteries of the human brain by taking courses in neuroscience. Learn how to navigate the data infrastructures that multinational corporations use when you discover the world of data analysis. Follow one of Coursera’s “Skill Tracks”. Or try any one of its more than 560 available courses to help you achieve your academic and professional goals.

Provider Subject Specialization
Humanities
Sciences & Technology
4719 reviews

Course Description

Investigate the flexibility and power of project-oriented computational analysis, and enhance communication of information by creating visual representations of scientific data.
Reviews 6/10 stars
4 Reviews for Scientific Computing

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Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.

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Gregory Bush profile image
Gregory Bush profile image
6/10 starsCompleted
  • 9 reviews
  • 7 completed
6 years ago
This class is full of good information and has a lot of potential to be even better. The lecture component in particular is very good. Prof Kutz is excellent at quickly and clearly explaining concepts and tries hard to be entertaining (often successfully!). The major weaknesses of the class are the frequent errata in the programming assignment graders and a complete absence of any staff attention. The assignment errata are particularly frustrating because your program gets three attempts at a pass/fail evaluation based on a single numeric output, accurate to, for example, 5 decimal places. If you get a "fail", then you have very little information to go on. Is there a subtle error in your program, or was the answer key created using bad rounding, etc.? It is frequently enough the latter to where you are never quite sure where the problem lies. Fortunately, generations of prior students have catalogued most of the errata on the wiki, ... This class is full of good information and has a lot of potential to be even better. The lecture component in particular is very good. Prof Kutz is excellent at quickly and clearly explaining concepts and tries hard to be entertaining (often successfully!). The major weaknesses of the class are the frequent errata in the programming assignment graders and a complete absence of any staff attention. The assignment errata are particularly frustrating because your program gets three attempts at a pass/fail evaluation based on a single numeric output, accurate to, for example, 5 decimal places. If you get a "fail", then you have very little information to go on. Is there a subtle error in your program, or was the answer key created using bad rounding, etc.? It is frequently enough the latter to where you are never quite sure where the problem lies. Fortunately, generations of prior students have catalogued most of the errata on the wiki, which is a fantastic help once you discover it. But it's unfortunate that these errors have persisted so long and that the course seems to be running on autopilot, with the staff oblivious to issues that could have been fixed by now. The University of Washington does advertise a paid version of the same class where you have access to course staff, additional materials and some form of certification for completing the course, but given the current state of the free version, I'm skeptical that it would be worth spending the money on. Regardless, I'm grateful that the class exists and think it's worth signing up for if you want to learn the material. Just be prepared for some frustration!
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Philip Schiff profile image
Philip Schiff profile image
2/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years ago
No offense to Prof. Kutz, but the course is terrible. The lectures are long- winded considering how little information he gets out in each lecture. Too many jokes designed to ingratiate himself with the students, and not very many examples. The quizzes and homework problems are inane and do not attempt to convey any insight to the students. That's not to mention that there is missing information or mistakes and unclear language in many of the problems in the first place. I doubt that someone can learn computing from this course. I spent one day doing the first week and I value my days too much to waste another one on the second week.
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Rick profile image
Rick profile image
6/10 starsDropped
  • 1 review
  • 0 completed
6 years, 7 months ago
The lectures were quite good, but overall I found the written materials too sparse. The lecture notes are good, but need to be expanded with more examples. I found the quizzes were too terse - not enough explanation of the question for me. The only assistance is from a forum, but the lack of actual assigned TA's like I've had at paid online classes means that you can't really post/ask detailed questions about quizzes or homework, showing your work, without jeopardizing the post being deleted for academic violation. This is a major drawback to a free class, and one of the reasons I dropped the class. I'd rather pay and get some assistance when I get stuck on a question, so I can move forward. The pre-reqs listed were Linear Algebra, but the course focuses mainly on ODEs and PDEs, - I have much more exposure to the former, which meant I had to review ODE's quickly the first week. The course had problems with many browsers - Google Chro... The lectures were quite good, but overall I found the written materials too sparse. The lecture notes are good, but need to be expanded with more examples. I found the quizzes were too terse - not enough explanation of the question for me. The only assistance is from a forum, but the lack of actual assigned TA's like I've had at paid online classes means that you can't really post/ask detailed questions about quizzes or homework, showing your work, without jeopardizing the post being deleted for academic violation. This is a major drawback to a free class, and one of the reasons I dropped the class. I'd rather pay and get some assistance when I get stuck on a question, so I can move forward. The pre-reqs listed were Linear Algebra, but the course focuses mainly on ODEs and PDEs, - I have much more exposure to the former, which meant I had to review ODE's quickly the first week. The course had problems with many browsers - Google Chrome seemed to be the only choice. I came into the course as a software engineer already with Matlab experience. I believe we all need to get away from the Fortran-ish naming conventions still used in scientific programing - single letters for variables. We should name variables with longer names to help the poor soul who picks up our code a year later and tries to fix it or enhance it. It would be great if teacher's and book writers using matlab would start to move towards more modern styles. I dropped the course as it was taking me more time than I had. I think one needs to have ODE PDE in their back pocket prior to starting this course, and the lack of TAs kept me stuck a few times.
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Sai profile image
Sai profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 14 reviews
  • 13 completed
6 years, 8 months ago
This course goes through the whole basics of scientific computing, starting with ODE, PDE (wave equation, diffusion equation, etc.), various methods for solving Ax=b, then FFT, Chebychev transform, and finally finite element method. The professor highly recommends getting MATLAB and in the lecture, uses some functions that are not available in Octave. The lecture videos (except for brief opening videos for each week) were from the recordings of his actual course at U of W and about 20-30% are devoted to hands-on demo of MATLAB sessions. (After watching all the lectures, I feel like getting MATLAB is not a bad idea because its IDE is much better than Octave, which essentially has no IDE. It seems Coursera "students" are eligible to purchase a student version.) Professor Kutz is a very humorous guy, making funny remarks all the time, and I have never got bored. His approach to scientific computing is not to devise all the tools by your... This course goes through the whole basics of scientific computing, starting with ODE, PDE (wave equation, diffusion equation, etc.), various methods for solving Ax=b, then FFT, Chebychev transform, and finally finite element method. The professor highly recommends getting MATLAB and in the lecture, uses some functions that are not available in Octave. The lecture videos (except for brief opening videos for each week) were from the recordings of his actual course at U of W and about 20-30% are devoted to hands-on demo of MATLAB sessions. (After watching all the lectures, I feel like getting MATLAB is not a bad idea because its IDE is much better than Octave, which essentially has no IDE. It seems Coursera "students" are eligible to purchase a student version.) Professor Kutz is a very humorous guy, making funny remarks all the time, and I have never got bored. His approach to scientific computing is not to devise all the tools by yourself but to take advantage of whatever available to you and concentrate on solving problems. He not only covered the basic theories but also gave practical advice in using various tools and methods. Thanks to him, I did not lose sight of the big picture without being buried in formulae and algorithms. Like other U of W courses, this course does not offer certificate. The assignments were in MATLAB (or Octave), most of which I just skipped.
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