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Introduction to Graph Theory, University of California San Diego

142 ratings
32 reviews

About this Course

We invite you to a fascinating journey into Graph Theory — an area which connects the elegance of painting and the rigor of mathematics; is simple, but not unsophisticated. Graph Theory gives us, both an easy way to pictorially represent many major mathematical results, and insights into the deep theories behind them. In this course, among other intriguing applications, we will see how GPS systems find shortest routes, how engineers design integrated circuits, how biologists assemble genomes, why a political map can always be colored using a few colors. We will study Ramsey Theory which proves that in a large system, complete disorder is impossible! By the end of the course, we will implement an algorithm which finds an optimal assignment of students to schools. This algorithm, developed by David Gale and Lloyd S. Shapley, was later recognized by the conferral of Nobel Prize in Economics. As prerequisites we assume only basic math (e.g., we expect you to know what is a square or how to add fractions), basic programming in python (functions, loops, recursion), common sense and curiosity. Our intended audience are all people that work or plan to work in IT, starting from motivated high school students....

Top reviews


Nov 17, 2017

Was pretty fun and gave a good intro to graph theory. Definitely felt inspired to go deeper and understood the most basic proof ideas. The later lectures can spike in difficulty though. Very nice!


Nov 12, 2017

I like this course. Very basic, but teachers are really great and explanations are perfect! Highly recommended for all who wants to begin with Graph Theory.

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30 Reviews

By Bryan W Berry

Dec 04, 2018

This course was very weak compared to the previous two courses in this series. The concepts are challenging but not very well presented. The quizzes are too easy and do not require you to master the material. The final algorithm problem is laughably easy. However, Dr. Alexander Shen was very responsive to all my questions.

By Joe Liao

Nov 17, 2018

I really love this course, it can help me to solve problems in life with Graph, stongly recommend this course!

By Saptarshi Manna

Nov 15, 2018

Liked in depth discussion of graph theory. Being an CS student, I have read graph theory from couple of books. But this course has provided a comprehensive understanding and many real life problems that can be solved using graph theory. Keep up your good work.

By Abhyuday Dixit

Oct 16, 2018

Very informative.

By Ziad Baroudi

Oct 13, 2018

Really cool course to take with very interesting exercises. I especially liked some of the puzzles at the beginning of topics. I thought that the week 5 material needed some more concrete examples. It was presented in the abstract straight away. However, don't let that discourage you from taking the course. You may simply need to access the odd Youtube video to supplement the material presented here.

By RLee

Oct 08, 2018

A follow up course about Flows, Cuts and Networks should well be considered in a more Mathematical perspective.

By Sriram Rajan

Jul 22, 2018


By Ashish Dattatray Sarode

Jul 19, 2018

Excellent course!

By Rajat Verma

Jul 09, 2018

Language barrier is the most prominent issue. All the teachers are not native English speakers, which has negative implications at least for me. I understand the issue but just wish it were not the case.

By Mike Taylor

Jun 29, 2018

would be good to have a few more algo questions, perhaps one submission per week?