Algorithms are the heart of computer science, and the subject has countless practical applications as well as intellectual depth. This specialization is an introduction to algorithms for learners with at least a little programming experience. The specialization is rigorous but emphasizes the big picture and conceptual understanding over low-level implementation and mathematical details. After completing this specialization, you will be well-positioned to ace your technical interviews and speak fluently about algorithms with other programmers and computer scientists.
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.
Learners will practice and master the fundamentals of algorithms through several types of assessments. Every week, there is a multiple choice quiz to test your understanding of the most important concepts. There are also weekly programming assignments, where you implement one of the algorithms covered in lecture in a programming language of your choosing. Each course concludes with a multiple-choice final exam.
The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is an American private research university located in Stanford, California on an 8,180-acre (3,310 ha) campus near Palo Alto, California, United States.
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Can I just enroll in a single course?
Yes! To get started, click the course card that interests you and enroll. You can enroll and complete the course to earn a shareable certificate, or you can audit it to view the course materials for free. When you subscribe to a course that is part of a Specialization, you’re automatically subscribed to the full Specialization. Visit your learner dashboard to track your progress.
Is financial aid available?
Yes, Coursera provides financial aid to learners who cannot afford the fee. Apply for it by clicking on the Financial Aid link beneath the "Enroll" button on the left. You'll be prompted to complete an application and will be notified if you are approved. You'll need to complete this step for each course in the Specialization, including the Capstone Project. Learn more.
Can I take the course for free?
When you enroll in the course, you get access to all of the courses in the Specialization, and you earn a certificate when you complete the work. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free. If you cannot afford the fee, you can apply for financial aid.
Is this course really 100% online? Do I need to attend any classes in person?
This course is completely online, so there’s no need to show up to a classroom in person. You can access your lectures, readings and assignments anytime and anywhere via the web or your mobile device.
How long does it take to complete the Specialization?
The Specialization has four four-week courses, for a total of sixteen weeks.
What background knowledge is necessary?
Learners should know how to program in at least one programming language (like C, Java, or Python); some familiarity with proofs, including proofs by induction and by contradiction; and some discrete probability, like how to compute the probability that a poker hand is a full house. At Stanford, a version of this course is taken by sophomore, junior, and senior-level computer science majors.
Do I need to take the courses in a specific order?
For best results, the courses should be taken in order.
Will I earn university credit for completing the Specialization?
What will I be able to do upon completing the Specialization?
Having taken your programming and thinking skills to the next level, you will be well positioned to ace your technical interviews, pursue serious software engineering, and study advanced topics in algorithms.