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# Algorithms: Design and Analysis, Part 1

All-Time Top 50
67 Reviews 2435 students interested
Found in
• Provider Coursera
• Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
• Session Finished
• Language English
• Certificate Paid Certificate Available
• Effort 5-7 hours a week
• Start Date
• Duration 7 weeks long

Taken this course? Share your experience with other students. Write review

## Overview

Algorithms are the heart of computer science, and the subject has countless practical applications as well as intellectual depth. This course is an introduction to algorithms for learners with at least a little programming experience. The course is rigorous but emphasizes the big picture and conceptual understanding over low-level implementation and mathematical details. After completing this course, you will be well-positioned to ace your technical interviews and speak fluently about algorithms with other programmers and computer scientists.

Specific topics include: "Big-oh" notation, sorting and searching, divide and conquer (master method, integer and matrix multiplication, closest pair), randomized algorithms (QuickSort, contraction algorithm for min cuts), data structures (heaps, balanced search trees, hash tables, bloom filters), graph primitives (applications of BFS and DFS, connectivity, shortest paths).

About the instructor: Tim Roughgarden has been a professor in the Computer Science Department at Stanford University since 2004. He has taught and published extensively on the subject of algorithms and their applications.

Note: this course is closing on October 10th, 2016, and relaunching as part of a specialization: https://www.coursera.org/specializations/algorithms

## Syllabus

Week 1
Introduction; "big-oh" notation and asymptotic analysis; divide-and-conquer basics.

Week 2
The master method for analyzing divide and conquer algorithms; the QuickSort algorithm and its analysis; probability review.

Week 3
Linear-time selection; graphs, cuts, and the contraction algorithm.

Week 4
Breadth-first and depth-first search; computing strong components; applications.

Week 5
Dijkstra's shortest-path algorithms; heaps; balanced binary search trees.

Week 6
Hashing; bloom filters.

Week 7
Final exam (1 attempt per 24 hours)

Tim Roughgarden

## Reviews for Coursera's Algorithms: Design and Analysis, Part 1 4.7 Based on 67 reviews

• 5 stars 79%
• 4 stars 16%
• 3 stars 3%
• 2 star 0%
• 1 star 1%

Did you take this course? Share your experience with other students.

• 1
Dhawal S
5.0 5 years ago
by completed this course, spending 12 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
This course helped me get a job. Before doing this course, I had trouble clearing technical interviews. Infact, I couldn't even clear the phone interviews. "Algorithms: Design and Analysis, Part 1" was instrumental in clearing my first technical interview and helped me get a job as a Software Engineer in Silicon Valley.

Just to be clear, this course alone isn't enough to clear technical interviews. What it did was strengthen my basics in Computer Science, due to which I was able to leverage a lot of online content and algorithm textbooks. Trying to prepare for technical interview…
33 people found
Henrik W
5.0 5 years ago
by completed this course, spending 10 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
I took courses on algorithms and data structures when I went to university, and I really enjoyed both of them. Since then I have been working as a software developer for more than 20 years, so I thought it would be interesting with a refresher.

I am quite familiar with several of the concepts taught in this course, for example: big-O notation, quick sort, merge sort and hash tables (I use those pretty much every day). But there were several other concepts that I was not familiar with: I had never heard of the Master Method (for finding the big-O performance of recursive algorithms…
12 people found
Martin R
5.0 4 years ago
completed this course, spending 8 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.
This was my very first course of algorithms, I had had some experience with programming before. The course was moderately challenging - I would say right at my limits but not overwhelming thus making the most out of its content - I wish I would learn with this efficiency on every course.

The content was much broader compared to syllabuses of other similar courses and has always been clear and to the point (no unnecessary prolonging empty words) so it made me thing about it and learn giving me only a little chance of the so-called 'illusion of competence.'

The assignments (programming and quizzes) were very appropriate and have solidified the knowledge.

So I can't wait for its second part, hope it will be as good as this one :)
3 people found
Wei E
4.0 5 years ago
completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
Professor Roughgarden has done a great job in explaining the content. I've finally understood what big-O notation, etc. means, after taking this course. The lack of interactive visuals (which I find to be necessary for studying how an algorithm works) may bother you.

The exercises are quite well done and provide a few challenging questions. Additionally, there are theory problems in the course pages which are optional and gets students to think creatively.

In general, this is a great introduction to algorithms, if you're not particularly bothered by the lack of interactive visuals.
2 people found
Shubham A
5.0 5 years ago
by completed this course, spending 7 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
It is one of the must course one should do to achieve expertise in Data Structure and Algorithms. The instructor Tim Roughgarden, one of the best instructor i have ever seen. The methodology and material is awesome. And i will advise to complete all the assignments to get the best of the course.
4 people found
square-B S
5.0 5 years ago
completed this course and found the course difficulty to be hard.
I thought this was a great learning experience. I would certainly recommend Coursera and this class specifically, to anyone. Be prepared as this course will take up A LOT of your time and it can be VERY challenging. Having said that, if you put in the work and tough it out, you will learn a lot. I know I did.
3 people found
Anonymous
5.0 5 years ago
completed this course.
Great course. Worth spending time. Not only videos by Tim are awesome but also the programming assignment and problem sets. If properly and seriously done, can improve your algorithmic skill to a great extent in just one and half month.
1 person found
Anonymous
5.0 7 years ago
completed this course.
The course is very good, but it is focused on providing proofs of correctness and running time of algorithms, and so it is more theoretical than applied. Still, I learned a lot about algorithms in this course!
1 person found
Anna K
3.0 4 years ago
completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
This course requires too much time to watch the videos.. Several hours of videos per 1 week, and the lecturer gets repetitive and some information is not necessary.. Sorry, did not fly with me...
0 person found
Anonymous
5.0 3 years ago
completed this course.
Hard but worth every penny. Got to learn more from this course than every other algorithms courses i've taken. Don't expect to be spoonfed, and expect to do background reading. Wonderful!
Eli B
4.0 5 years ago
completed this course and found the course difficulty to be very easy.
The teacher is pretty good – I actually enjoyed watching the lectures and wasn't bored, which is unusual with me when it comes to lectures. I really liked the "optional" videos (watched them all). Not sure whether they would have been taught in the real course, but they add a lot.

It took me, on average, 15-30 minutes per week for the "dry" (problem sets) part, and another 15-30 minutes per week for the "wet" (programming questions) part. This is way, way too little. The exam was extremely easy. It took me less than an hour to solve (out of 3 allotted hours), and the handful of points I lost are due to pure sloppiness (mis-reading one of the questions).

To conclude, I really enjoyed taking the course, and big thanks to Tim Roughgarden and the course staff for offering it and investing effort into making it enjoyable. I will be seriously considering enrolling in the follow-up Part II in late summer.
3 people found
Jiting T
5.0 2 years ago
by completed this course, spending 12 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.
This is an introductory course on the principles of computational algorithms, but, it's very hard. The related mathematics is challenging and the concepts are difficult to understand. However, the teacher has cleverly cut the materials into small pieces and provide them in a gradual and clear way, so students can master the materials finally if they have taken great efforts to study it.
Jeffrey (
5.0 11 months ago
by completed this course, spending 8 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
I took the Algorithms specialization during my winter break of my 2nd year as an Computer Science student in college, after taking introductory data structures + algorithms classes and developing a competitive programming hobby.

Tim Roughgarden is an amazing instructor, and the Algorithms specialization is one of my all-time favorite MOOCs.

Anonymous
5.0 5 years ago
completed this course.
Very much worth the time. I especially enjoyed the programming assignments as they made very clear the dramatic impact algorithm improvements can have when operating on large data sets. The professor made video lectures more engaging than I thought would be possible. I just finished Part 1 and will be taking Part 2 when it starts.
Anonymous
5.0 10 months ago
completed this course.
Landed my first job all thanks to this wonderful course. Programming assignments were a little tough at times but nothing that can't be handled. Probably one of the best online courses available for learning algorithms and data structures.
Luiz C
5.0 6 months ago
completed this course, spending 10 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.
In my top 3 MOOC.

Great content and delivery by Prof. Roughgarden on a rather dry topic.

The videos are great quality.

The assignments are very challenging but interesting.

I just wished this MOOC would be longer
Anonymous
5.0 7 years ago
completed this course.
I took this course in Summer 2012 (2nd iteration). Lectures were great. Everything was on time. Programming assignments and problem sets were very insightful. Definitely recommend this course.
Akamal8 A
5.0 4 years ago
by completed this course, spending 9 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
Very brillian course. It developed the way I think of algorithms and approach problems. I recommend it for any software engineering student.
Anonymous
5.0 6 years ago
completed this course.
Excellent course, great teacher and challenging assignments fun to do. I definitely enjoyed the course and learned a lot.
Anonymous
5.0 7 years ago
completed this course.
Superb course, I loved the programming exercises. It was quite fun compared to other similar courses