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Greg Hamel profile image
Greg Hamel profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 116 reviews
  • 107 completed
6 years, 2 months ago
Introduction to theoretical computer science is all about identifying and tackling hard problems. The quality of the material and instruction is excellent. Sebastian Wernicke breaks down complex topics in a ... Introduction to theoretical computer science is all about identifying and tackling hard problems. The quality of the material and instruction is excellent. Sebastian Wernicke breaks down complex topics in a way that is easy to understand. Central topics include the P vs. NP question, NP completeness and strategies for dealing with NP-complete problems. The class uses a few related graph problems--vertex cover, independent set and clique-- to introduce and discuss the central topics. It also covers a few other interesting problems like traveling salesman and 3-SAT. As the name implies, this course is heavy on theory. As such, there is not a lot of actual programming you have to do to complete the course. There are a few programming problems, but quizzes and homework mostly revolve around multiple choice questions that get you to think about and master the concepts presented in lecture. Since it is light on programming, the course goes quickly if you don’t have to re-watch the lectures too many times to understand the material. Even though this class is about theory, you will learn practical things like preprocessing data to speed up algorithms. I highly recommend this course to anyone with curiosity about the P vs. NP question and solving hard problems.
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Damian Grant profile image
Damian Grant profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 6 reviews
  • 5 completed
7 years, 1 month ago
I've completed about 4 MOOCs now, and this has been my favourite so far. I found it to be a solid "intermediate" level - both in terms of workload and difficulty. I found some of the quizzes - particularly t... I've completed about 4 MOOCs now, and this has been my favourite so far. I found it to be a solid "intermediate" level - both in terms of workload and difficulty. I found some of the quizzes - particularly the exam - needed multiple submissions to get right. I'm not sure if this suggests I didn't deeply understand the material after all. The problem sets usually included just 1-2 programming exercises, and only a few were really challenging. I thought the instructor was brilliant, and responsive to questions on the forums. In terms of content, obviously everyone will have different interests and background. I was expecting something a little different (more due to my ignorance as to what is "theoretical" and what is "practical" Comp Sci). It's a lot more mathematical than other CS courses. On the other hand, I haven't done any Algorithms courses (which was a recommended pre-req). As I say, it's early days yet for my MOOC education, but I hope there are other courses this good out there for me to discover!
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