The primary topics in this part of the specialization are: asymptotic ("Big-oh") notation, sorting and searching, divide and conquer (master method, integer and matrix multiplication, closest pair), and randomized algorithms (QuickSort, contraction algorithm for min cuts).
Tiancompleted this course, spending 6 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.
This a good intro to algorithms course for those who already have some exposure to programming.
The aim of the course is to introduce some classic algorithms and show us the toolbox of algorithms design and analysis by giving very detailed analysis on them. With what is taught in this course in mind, it is much more easier to learn other new algorithms since I now know how to think about them and how to do the analysis( or at least have a basic idea on how analysis should be carried out).
Quizzes and programming assignments are not trivial. Cracking them requires solid understand of the course content. Since no specific codes are provided, how hard the programming assignments are really depends on the previous coding experience.
The book written by the professor is also good. Clear and organized.