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Coursera’s Online Course on Algorithms

Stanford with Coursera is offering another online course on Algorithms.

Several fundamental principles of algorithm designs will be taught in this course. Divide-and-conquer design paradigm, with applications to fast sorting, searching, and multiplication are included in this course.

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Several blazingly fast primitives for computing on graphs, such as how to compute connectivity information and shortest paths will also be taught. At last, you will study how allowing the computer to “flip coins” can lead to elegant and practical algorithms and data structures.

You will also come across the answers to questions like: How do data structures like heaps, hash tables, bloom filters, and balanced search trees actually work, anyway? How come QuickSort runs so fast? What can graph algorithms tell us about the structure of the Web and social networks? Did my 3rd-grade teacher explain only a suboptimal algorithm for multiplying two numbers?

Students are required to contribute 5-7 hours of work per week and this course will be taught in English language.

Course Syllabus

Week 1: Introduction.  Asymptotic analysis including big-oh notation.  Divide-and-conquer algorithms for sorting, counting inversions, matrix multiplication, and closest pair.

Week 2: Running time analysis of divide-and-conquer algorithms.  The master method.  Introduction to randomized algorithms, with a probability review.  QuickSort.

Week 3: More on randomized algorithms and probability.  Computing the median in linear time.  A randomized algorithm for the minimum graph cut problem.

Week 4: Graph primitives.  Depth- and breadth-first search.  Connected components in undirected graphs.  Topological sort in directed acyclic graphs.  Strongly connected components in directed graphs.

Week 5: Dijkstra’s shortest-path algorithm.  Introduction to data structures.  Heaps and applications.

Week 6: Further data structures.  Hash tables and applications. Balanced binary search trees.

Suggested Readings

No specific textbook is required for the course.  Much of the course material is covered by the well-known textbooks on algorithms, and the student is encouraged to consult their favorite for additional information.

Course Format

The class will consist of video lectures, generally between 10 and 15 minutes in length. These usually integrated quiz questions. There will also be standalone homework’s and programming assignments that are not part of video lectures, and a final exam.

Course Date & Duration

This course will start on April 29, 2014 and will run for 6 weeks.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must know how to program in at least one programming language (like C, Java, or Python); and familiarity with proofs, including proofs by induction and by contradiction.


Tim Roughgarden

He is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University. For the past 8 years he has taught the Design and Analysis of Algorithms course at Stanford.

For detail information visit the official site of Coursera.