I have finally received my grade on the Core Concepts in Data Analysis course on Coursera. I have mixed feelings about this grade.
On one hand I am disappointed that I didn’t complete the course with distinction. On the other hand I am grateful that I passed the course. Here’s why:
This course is taught by the Higher School of Economics which is a research university in Moscow, Russia. The course was taught by Boris Mirkin and follows the material covered in his book. I enjoyed the course and learned a lot.
The course had quizes that covered the lectures, programming assignments, and peer review assignments. Prof. Mirkin is a MathLab user and so you get the commands to accomplish the task. There were R and Python groups that sprung up. I participated with the R group and learned from them.
I did well on the quizes and programming assignments. I ran into problems with the peer review assignments. I received low grades from these assignments. Part of it was the fact that I didn’t convince the peer reviewer of my position. I also got whacked because I didn’t provide the details needed to get the full grade. I felt horrible when I had to give some students low grades because their answers, although not incorrect, failed to provide “the right answer.”
There were times I felt things were lost in translation. I want to be clear that I do not fault Prof. Mirkin or the TA’s. They did a wonderful job. Their English is a lot better than my Russian. There were times when the point of the lecture was unclear due to subtle linguistic issues. Some of my classmates were very unforgiving of this point.
All in all it was a great course and I would recommend it to anyone interested in analysis. It is a challenging course (or at least was for me) and provided the resistance needed for me to grow. I am grateful for that.