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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Text Retrieval and Search Engines by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

928 ratings

About the Course

Recent years have seen a dramatic growth of natural language text data, including web pages, news articles, scientific literature, emails, enterprise documents, and social media such as blog articles, forum posts, product reviews, and tweets. Text data are unique in that they are usually generated directly by humans rather than a computer system or sensors, and are thus especially valuable for discovering knowledge about people’s opinions and preferences, in addition to many other kinds of knowledge that we encode in text. This course will cover search engine technologies, which play an important role in any data mining applications involving text data for two reasons. First, while the raw data may be large for any particular problem, it is often a relatively small subset of the data that are relevant, and a search engine is an essential tool for quickly discovering a small subset of relevant text data in a large text collection. Second, search engines are needed to help analysts interpret any patterns discovered in the data by allowing them to examine the relevant original text data to make sense of any discovered pattern. You will learn the basic concepts, principles, and the major techniques in text retrieval, which is the underlying science of search engines....

Top reviews


Sep 20, 2016

Great course for those trying to understand how ro analyse and process text data. It has the right amount of tools to help you understand the basics of information retrieval and search engines.


Dec 28, 2020

Great introductory course. It has opened my eyes to new challenges that face information retrieval. DON"T TAKE THIS COURSE IF YOU WANT TO LEARN elasticsearch.

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1 - 25 of 190 Reviews for Text Retrieval and Search Engines

By Karl S

Jul 30, 2018

Although I was very enthusiastic at the beginning of this course, my enthusiasm was soon replaced by disappointment. There were several reasons for my disappointment: First, it is very difficult to understand Prof. ChengXiang Zhai. This is aggravated by the fact that the subtitles of his videos have not been edited and many of these subtitles do not really make any sense. Furthermore, some of the quizzes check on material that is only covered in the week after the quiz. Second, and more importantly, I was disappointed by the explanations offered by Prof. Zhai. Often, he just drops some technical terms without giving any explanation whatsoever. An example in point is his covering of the Kullback-Leibler divergence. He just dropped the name but did not offer any definition or explanation. Unfortunately, there were many more topics that were only covered in such a name dropping way. In the end, I bought myself the book by Stefan Büttcher and the book by Christopher Manning. These are excellent books that were also recommended by Prof. Zhai. For anybody interested in information retrieval I would actually recommend to go directly to these books instead of taking this course.

By steven g

May 9, 2020

Class is not updated, so the programming assignments no longer work without a lot of effort. Without the programming assignments, the class is too theoretical, we need more real world use.

By Devender B

Feb 13, 2019

Literally this is a dead course. No one is active from course to assist students. You can't complete assignment 1 if you are not good with c++ and STL 'PERIOD'.

Giving up this course

By Melanie C

Jul 3, 2016

This is not a class I would normally pursue. I took it as part of the "Data Mining" certification. That being said, this class was wonderful. I learned the basics of text retrieval and search engines. I went from knowing nothing, to having a working sense of how search engine algorithms work. It was a challenging course for me, but very much worth the time and effort I put into it. It was like pulling back the curtain on the code behind Google, Netflix, and Amazon searches, and that has made me think of the world in a different way. I am now a human happily collaborating with machine learning systems. Thank you!!

By Codrin K

May 13, 2018

Excellent course. The only request I would have is to make honors programming assignment technology independent (I would have wanted to do it in R) and to add feedback on incorrect answers in quizzes so you can learn more easily from your istakes.

By Pankaj M

Aug 29, 2016

A great overview of text retrieval methods. Good coverage of search engines. A longer course will cover search engine better (remember this is a 6 weeker)

By Godwin I

Aug 21, 2016

Excellent ! Well organized, presented with aptitude to detail. Definitely will recommend and take further units in this specialization.

Thanks Prof

By Siwei Y

Mar 4, 2017

不得不说, 老师讲课讲得的很好,内容丰富,逻辑性很强,非常清晰。这一点很难得,因为我听过太多天马行空的课了。

但是Honor Track 有着灾难性的问题。因为当前的作业源代码已经和最新的META 不再兼容了, 作业源代码版本太旧。运气不好的话,学生要花巨量的时间来安装调试, 处理各种dependency 的问题, 而这些根本不是学这门课所要做的。看看discussion forum 里吧,哀鸿遍野。另外,在平常的作业里会有些低级错误, 连Mentor 都无法自圆其说。希望能够及时纠正这些错误,不然真的可惜了这么好的内容。 本来要给五星的,两颗星就扣在这些地方。

By Asif M

Oct 14, 2019

Overall, a very good introductory course. It is doorway to explore TR systems further and this course gives you a good understanding of lay of the Information Retrieval land.

Couple of tests during the entire course need you to read ahead the next week's course and even though the issue has been reported more than 2 years ago, as of this writing, they have not been fixed

By Ginvile R

Nov 13, 2019

This is an interesting course that dives into the fundamentals (and thus mathematical functions and similar) of text retrieval. This is highly technical and essential if you need to develop your own system, though could be too deep if you just need to understand the basic idea behind.

By Ashish G

Apr 4, 2019

Sir is Amazing. Reviews saying this course lacks practicals are true. Fact is, you will be able to implement them on your own, as sir explained concepts pretty well. This is by far one of the best courses on coursera, comparable to Mr. Ng's course on ML and DL

By Laurencia V C

Feb 26, 2021

Professor ChengXiang Zhai manages to point out the critical topics in this area in a very efficient, effective and realiable way. I will take this course twice. Thank you, Coursera and University of Illinois, for this opportunity!

By Wei D

Oct 26, 2017

The novelty of this course is that it not only introduces algorithms, like many other courses, but also focuses on system design issues. You can find algorithms everywhere, but it's not easy to know the system design.

By Jose A E H

Sep 21, 2016

Great course for those trying to understand how ro analyse and process text data. It has the right amount of tools to help you understand the basics of information retrieval and search engines.

By Mohamed S

Dec 29, 2020

Great introductory course. It has opened my eyes to new challenges that face information retrieval. DON"T TAKE THIS COURSE IF YOU WANT TO LEARN elasticsearch.

By Ivan B

Apr 28, 2017

Very well mounted course.

For the majority of the topics explained, focused on techniques, not jut on theory.

Good suplemental lectures listed.

By To P H

May 2, 2019

Interesting content

However the prof/instructor should practice not pausing so much when explaining the concepts/contents

By Hardik J

Jun 26, 2016

This course is complemented with a software and text (not mandatory) and good explanation with diagrams...

By Hafidz J L

May 7, 2018

This advance course just perfect for me who know little bit about advance statistic and linear algebra.

By zhuoqi j

Sep 15, 2019

Very clear, make me have a basic understanding of data mining and data retrieval. Thanks very much.

By Bilguun

Dec 10, 2018

One of the best courses I have taken on Coursera. Really liked how the quizzes were structured!

By Dawn A

May 8, 2018

Arguably the best resource for learning about key concepts of text retrieval online.

By michael f

Feb 9, 2020

Excellent course, learned a lot that i am already applying to my professional work.

By Abe G V T S

Oct 15, 2017

This was just the course I needed! Great introduction to the Information Retrieval!

By Rajesh V

Jul 11, 2016

Love the way the professor introduces the concepts, doesn't overwhelm the student!