Teaching Assistantships

Thank you for your interest in becoming a Teaching Assistant (TA) for the Physics Department.  In order to apply as a TA in Physics, you should note the following points:

  1. Priority is given to students who have completed or are concurrently registered for the TA Training practicum course, PHYS 294.  Note that PHYS 294 is offered in Autumn and Winter quarters only.
  2. There is no need to approach individual instructors about TA positions -- especially not for the introductory courses. You will have the opportunity to state your preferences on the application.
  3. Priority in hiring is given to applicants who are graduate students in the Physics Department.
  4. TAs for the PHYS 20 and 40 series are offered 50% appointments during the academic year.  TAs for other courses are offered 25% appointments.
  5. Before applying to TA for the department, please review the responsibilities for TAs of specific courses described in the links below.
  6. You must complete the TA application by the due date for the quarter in which you wish to apply. Typically, the TA application period opens around the following dates and closes about two weeks after it opens:
    • Around the end of week 7 of the summer quarter, typically between August 12 and 27 for Autumn quarter applications.
    • Around the end of week 5 of the fall quarter, typically between October 18 and November 1 for Winter quarter applications.
    • Around the end of week 5 of the winter quarter, typically between February 1 and February 15 for Spring quarter applications.
    • Around the end of week 7 of the spring quarter, typically between May 15 and 22 for Summer quarter applications.

More details on specific courses can be found in ExploreCourses.  Details relevant to serving as a TA for Physics courses can be found at the links below:

Requirements
  • Full Time Enrollment:  In order to receive a salary from the university, you must be registered as a full-time student.  For Physics graduate students, this means you must enroll in courses and/or research adding up to 10 units each quarter during the academic year or for the zero-unit TGR course PH802 if you are on TGR status.  Enrollment levels for Summer quarter will vary according to your total RA/TA appointment percentage.
  • Eligibility to work in the United States:  All students, scholars and fellows receiving financial support or wages from Stanford must have a U.S. social security number or ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) on file with the University and an I-9 form on file with Payroll.  In addition, foreign students must have a current visa and passport.
  • English Proficiency for Teaching Assistants (International Students Only):  The University requires that International graduate students who wish to be appointed as TAs  must first be screened by proficiency in the English language. The screening is conducted by the English for Foreign Students Program in the Stanford Language Center.  More information on the screening exam can be found at https://language.stanford.edu/programs/efs/languages/english-foreign-students/international-teachingcourse-assistant-screening. We strongly recommend that students get screened at least one quarter prior to the quarter in which they wish to TA.
  • Tax declaration:  All students must have submitted a form SU-32/W-4/DE-4 Employee's Tax Data (includes federal and state withholding certificate).
  • Performance Expectations:  A Physics Department Teaching Assistantship, like any other form of employment, has required duties that must be fulfilled. Employees must have a positive attitude and performance must meet or exceed expectations or the employment may be terminated, even if in the middle of a term.
  • Attendance:  Please plan to be here the entire quarter and do not plan to leave campus for a vacation, conference, etc., until the final exam for the course is graded.
  • Evaluations:  TA performance is evaluated on an on-going basis throughout the quarter.  Feedback regarding TA performance will be compiled from mid- and end-quarter student feedback, from instructor feedback, and from Head TA feedback for courses that have Head TAs.  Continued employment as a Physics department TA is contingent upon, but not guaranteed by, positive feedback and timely correction of any deficiencies.
Expectations

When you sign up to TA for the Physics department:

  1. You are confirming that you will be available during the entire quarter, including the final-exam grading period.
  2. You will attend all TA meetings, sections, office hours, etc., and will complete all tasks associated with your TAship.
  3. You may have to grade problem sets and administer and/or grade exams on weekends.

What your students expect from you, their section or lab TA (Large Intro Courses may be different):

  1. You, the TA, will be present and on time at every section.  Note:  on time means getting to the room where your section meets at least 5 minutes before section starts.  For discussion section TAs, this allows you to make sure the room is ready to go, working markers are available for both you and your students, and demonstrations, if any, are set up.  For lab TAs, this allows you to make sure the equipment is working.

  2. If you absolutely must miss a section due to an unexpected emergency, you will find a suitable substitute. 

  3. You will return graded homework following the guidelines for the course but no later than five days after the due date if the course does not have a defined guideline.  This gives students the opportunity to see what they have done wrong so they do not repeat the same mistake on the next assignment.  Scores for graded labs must be entered and labs returned by the next lab period. 

  4. You will grade homework/lab legibly so that your students can see which parts were correct and which were incorrect.  Although you do not necessarily need to explain on the homework specifically where a student went wrong, it should be clear on which part(s) the student lost points.  
  5. You will send out weekly Canvas announcements to students letting them know about common mistakes in problem sets.
  6. You will be available for office hours for 1 hour each week and will communicate these hours to the students.
  7. If you are a TA for the 20 or 40 series courses, you will also staff the Physics Tutoring Center (PTC) at hours decided between you and the other TAs.  All office hours and PTC hours will be posted on Canvas.

What students can expect from You and other TAs:

  1. TAs will staff the tutoring center and/or be present for office hours at the stated times.
  2. Problem set solutions will be posted in a timely fashion after the due date.
  3. Exams will be graded legibly and so that students can see which parts were correct and which were incorrect. (The TA will not necessarily explain on an exam specifically where a student went wrong, but it should be clear which parts let to lost points and which didn't). Exams will be graded consistently across students.
TAing for Nontechnical Courses

Teaching Assistantships for courses intended for non-technical majors -- PHYS 15, 16 and 17 -- are 25% appointments.   For AY 2017-18, potential PHYS 16 TAs should refer to the "active learning" section below for details on their TA responsibilities.  As a TA for PHYS 15 or 17, you will spend 10 hours per week, averaged over the quarter, on the following TA responsibilities:

  1. Meet regularly with the instructor on a schedule decided with the instructor.
  2. Lead a weekly 50- or 80-minute discussion section
    • These discussion sections should facilitate active learning.  To engage students, the TAs and/or instructor select problems that are well-suited for group problem-solving. (The optimal number is 3 students per group.)  After a very brief introduction by the TA to the physics introduced that week, students work on problems in groups, while the TA asks the students questions, answers their questions, and helps them develop a deeper understanding of the material.  TAs are encouraged to minimize the amount of time they are "lecturing at the board" or "holding the markers".
    • Discussion section time is usually determined on the first day of class based on TA and student availability.  Discussion sections should not be scheduled during the dinner hour (5 to 7 pm).  However, sections can be held at registrar-approved time slots that end around 5:30 pm or start around 6:30 pm.  Like lectures, discussion sections must start at specific start times; check with Elva once a scheduling window has been identified.
    • Discussion sections should not be scheduled the day before the problem set is due.  Office hours -- not discussion section -- are appropriate for dealing with problem-set-related questions.
  3. Hold office hours (2 hours per week) -- students are polled to identify a time that works for those students who are likely to come to office hours -- please avoid lunch and dinner hours.
  4. Grade problem sets.  Grades must be entered on Canvas and graded problem sets must be returned to students at least two days before the next problem set is due.  Canvas is used to send out announcements to the entire class about common mistakes on the problem set that has just been graded.
  5. Write solutions to problem sets -- if there are multiple TAs for a class, the TAs take turns writing solutions.
  6. Assist with miscellaneous tasks, which may include
    • Submitting possible questions for the exam -- you are not responsible for writing the exam since that is the instructor's responsibility.
    • Proof-reading the exam; taking the exam to assess clarity and the length of the exam; writing up solutions.
    • Leading review sessions before the exams.
    • Administering the exam; making sure there are "blue books" available, etc.
    • Grading the exam; entering grades on Canvas for courses that do not use Gradescope; returning paper exams to students or releasing exams on Gradescope; generating statistics for the exam.

20 or 40 Series

TAing the PHYS 20 or PHYS 40 series discussion sections

Changes for AY 2021-22

Space permitting, some classes in the PHYS 20 and 40 series will be offered in active format.  These classes will not have separate discussion sections and will instead appear as MWF 90 minute classes with two lecture sections and without any discussion sections.  TAs assigned to these courses will attend the lecture sections and will have slightly different responsibilites, but can expect to put in the same time committment.  In other words, 50% TAs in an active learning class should plan on an average of 20 hours a week like TAs in lecture-discussion type classes.

The optional PHYS 41A/E and PHYS 43A will not be taught.  Instead, there is an Autumn quarter standalone class, PHYS 40, which will be actively taught and require 25% TAs.

Generally applicable Information:

The PHYS 20 series is an algebra-based introductory physics sequence composed of three courses:

  • PHYS 21:  Mechanics, fluids, and heat; taught Autumn quarter.
  • PHYS 23:  Electricity, magnetism, optics; taught Winter quarter.
  • PHYS 25:  Modern physics (special relativity, algebra-based quantum physics, cosmology); taught Spring quarter.

The PHYS 40 series is a calculus-based introductory sequence also composed of three courses:

  • PHYS 45:  Heat and light; taught Autumn quarter.
  • PHYS 41*:  Mechanics; taught Winter quarter.
  • PHYS 43*:  Electricity and magnetism; taught Spring quarter.

* PHYS 41 and PHYS 43 have optional componenents, PHYS 41A and PHYS 43A. These one-unit courses are designed to provide students who have less preparation in math and physics with extra contact time with teaching staff.  The responsibilities of PHYS 41A and PHYS 43A TAs are described at the end of this document.

Responsibilities of PHYS 20 and PHYS 40 series Discussion section TAs:

Discussion sections are required components of both the PHYS 20 and PHYS 40 series.  TAs play the role of learning facilitator rather than "expert at the board."  After a brief introduction to the material, students work in groups of three (or four) on pre-developed worksheets where they solve problems related to the material being covered in lecture.  Instead of showing students how to do the problem, TAs engage students in their own learning by asking them Socratic questions and demonstrating techniques that the students can use to be convinced that they are (or are not) on the right track.  Much of the curriculum developed for these classes follows the philosophy of Physics Education Research, which promotes active learning.  The worksheets are developed beforehand by the Physics Education Specialist in conjunction with the course instructor.

In addition to leading discussion sections, TAs attend mandatory weekly TA meetings for their course.  At these meetings, TAs go through the worksheets in small groups, identify areas that may confuse students, and discuss strategies to help students.  

PHYS 20 and PHYS 40 series discussion section TAs have a 50% appointment with the following duties:

  • Attend mandatory weekly TA meeting and complete additional preparation for discussion section as needed.
  • Lead two 80-minute discussion sections each week.
  • Attend two 50-minute lectures each week to interact with students during 'clicker questions' in classes where clickers are used and to ensure consistency in learning goals, notation, etc., between lecture and discussion sections. Be sure you are available Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, at either 9:30 am or 10:30 am.
  • Write solutions to problem sets according to a schedule assigned by the Head TA.
  • Grade weekly problem sets (PS) based on the schedule for the class (typically, 20 series PS must be graded by 9 pm on Thursday, 40 series PS must be graded by 9 am on Monday)
  • Lead review sessions before exams.
  • Attend grading sessions for midterm and final exams.
  • Staff the Physics Tutoring Center (PTC) for two hours each week to assist students with homework (HW) problems and in understanding concepts.  Hold an additional office hour, also in the PTC.
    • PHYS 20 series TAs typically staff the PTC for HW help on M and Tu, and hold office hours on W, Th, or F.
    • PHYS 40 series TAs typically staff the PTC for HW help on W, Th, and F, and hold office hours on M or Tu.
    • The Head TA organizes the scheduling of PTC hours.
    • Office hours are scheduled by individual TAs, to accommodate their own students' scheduling constraints. Office hours should not be scheduled at the following times:
      • 9:30 am to 11:20 am, MWF since those are the lecture hours for these courses.
      • Noon to 1 pm and 5 pm to 7 pm any day -- since these hours conflict with meals.
  • Help with miscellaneous tasks determined by the Head TA

For a 50% appointment, TAs should plan to spend 20 hours per week averaged over the quarter.

Responsibilities of PHYS 43A TAs (not offered AY2021-22):

TAs for PHYS 41A or PHYS 43A have either a 25% appointment or a 50% appointment.  A TA with a 25% appointment performs the following duties:

  • Attend mandatory weekly TA meeting and complete additional preparation for PHYS  43A as needed.
  • Work with the instructor and other TAs to facilitate learning during two 2-hour weekly class periods as students solve problems interactively in groups.
  • Attend one 50-minute lecture for the parent class, PHYS 43, each week to ensure consistency in learning goals, notation, etc., between lecture and discussion sections and to interact with students during 'clicker questions' in classes where clickers are used. Be sure you are available Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, at either 9 am or 10 am.
  • Develop and write solutions to weekly worksheets according to a schedule determined at the first TA meeting.
  • Grade weekly problem sets for the parent class, PHYS 43.
  • Lead review sessions before exams.
  • Attend midterm and final exam grading sessions for PHYS 43; help with exam administration. 
  • Hold one office hour per week, either in the PTC or immediately after the two-hour class in the same meeting room.
  • Help with miscellaneous tasks determined by the Head TA.

In addition to the responsibilities of a TA with a 25% appointment, TAs with a 50% appointment for PHYS 43A have the following duties:

  • Assist the instructor in a second two-hour class.
  • Grade weekly worksheets for students from the second class as well.
  • Hold two additional office hours.

    TAing the PHYS 20 or PHYS 40 series discussion sections

    Changes for AY 2021-22

    Space permitting, some classes in the PHYS 20 and 40 series will be offered in active format.  These classes will not have separate discussion sections and will instead appear as MWF 90 minute classes with two lecture sections and without any discussion sections.  TAs assigned to these courses will attend the lecture sections and will have slightly different responsibilites, but can expect to put in the same time committment.  In other words, 50% TAs in an active learning class should plan on an average of 20 hours a week like TAs in lecture-discussion type classes.

    The optional PHYS 41A/E and PHYS 43A will not be taught.  Instead, there is an Autumn quarter standalone class, PHYS 40, which will be actively taught and require 25% TAs.

    Generally applicable Information:

    The PHYS 20 series is an algebra-based introductory physics sequence composed of three courses:

  • PHYS 21:  Mechanics, fluids, and heat; taught Autumn quarter.
  • PHYS 23:  Electricity, magnetism, optics; taught Winter quarter.
  • PHYS 25:  Modern physics (special relativity, algebra-based quantum physics, cosmology); taught Spring quarter.
  • The PHYS 40 series is a calculus-based introductory sequence also composed of three courses:

  • PHYS 45:  Heat and light; taught Autumn quarter.
  • PHYS 41*:  Mechanics; taught Winter quarter.
  • PHYS 43*:  Electricity and magnetism; taught Spring quarter.
  • * PHYS 41 and PHYS 43 have optional componenents, PHYS 41A and PHYS 43A. These one-unit courses are designed to provide students who have less preparation in math and physics with extra contact time with teaching staff.  The responsibilities of PHYS 41A and PHYS 43A TAs are described at the end of this document.

    Responsibilities of PHYS 20 and PHYS 40 series Discussion section TAs:

    Discussion sections are required components of both the PHYS 20 and PHYS 40 series.  TAs play the role of learning facilitator rather than "expert at the board."  After a brief introduction to the material, students work in groups of three (or four) on pre-developed worksheets where they solve problems related to the material being covered in lecture.  Instead of showing students how to do the problem, TAs engage students in their own learning by asking them Socratic questions and demonstrating techniques that the students can use to be convinced that they are (or are not) on the right track.  Much of the curriculum developed for these classes follows the philosophy of Physics Education Research, which promotes active learning.  The worksheets are developed beforehand by the Physics Education Specialist in conjunction with the course instructor.

    In addition to leading discussion sections, TAs attend mandatory weekly TA meetings for their course.  At these meetings, TAs go through the worksheets in small groups, identify areas that may confuse students, and discuss strategies to help students.  

    PHYS 20 and PHYS 40 series discussion section TAs have a 50% appointment with the following duties:

  • Attend mandatory weekly TA meeting and complete additional preparation for discussion section as needed.
  • Lead two 80-minute discussion sections each week.
  • Attend two 50-minute lectures each week to interact with students during 'clicker questions' in classes where clickers are used and to ensure consistency in learning goals, notation, etc., between lecture and discussion sections. Be sure you are available Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, at either 9:30 am or 10:30 am.
  • Write solutions to problem sets according to a schedule assigned by the Head TA.
  • Grade weekly problem sets (PS) based on the schedule for the class (typically, 20 series PS must be graded by 9 pm on Thursday, 40 series PS must be graded by 9 am on Monday)
  • Lead review sessions before exams.
  • Attend grading sessions for midterm and final exams.
  • Staff the Physics Tutoring Center (PTC) for two hours each week to assist students with homework (HW) problems and in understanding concepts.  Hold an additional office hour, also in the PTC.
    • PHYS 20 series TAs typically staff the PTC for HW help on M and Tu, and hold office hours on W, Th, or F.
    • PHYS 40 series TAs typically staff the PTC for HW help on W, Th, and F, and hold office hours on M or Tu.
    • The Head TA organizes the scheduling of PTC hours.
    • Office hours are scheduled by individual TAs, to accommodate their own students' scheduling constraints. Office hours should not be scheduled at the following times:
      • 9:30 am to 11:20 am, MWF since those are the lecture hours for these courses.
      • Noon to 1 pm and 5 pm to 7 pm any day -- since these hours conflict with meals.
  • Help with miscellaneous tasks determined by the Head TA
  • For a 50% appointment, TAs should plan to spend 20 hours per week averaged over the quarter.

    Responsibilities of PHYS 43A TAs (not offered AY2021-22):

    TAs for PHYS 41A or PHYS 43A have either a 25% appointment or a 50% appointment.  A TA with a 25% appointment performs the following duties:

  • Attend mandatory weekly TA meeting and complete additional preparation for PHYS  43A as needed.
  • Work with the instructor and other TAs to facilitate learning during two 2-hour weekly class periods as students solve problems interactively in groups.
  • Attend one 50-minute lecture for the parent class, PHYS 43, each week to ensure consistency in learning goals, notation, etc., between lecture and discussion sections and to interact with students during 'clicker questions' in classes where clickers are used. Be sure you are available Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, at either 9 am or 10 am.
  • Develop and write solutions to weekly worksheets according to a schedule determined at the first TA meeting.
  • Grade weekly problem sets for the parent class, PHYS 43.
  • Lead review sessions before exams.
  • Attend midterm and final exam grading sessions for PHYS 43; help with exam administration. 
  • Hold one office hour per week, either in the PTC or immediately after the two-hour class in the same meeting room.
  • Help with miscellaneous tasks determined by the Head TA.
  • In addition to the responsibilities of a TA with a 25% appointment, TAs with a 50% appointment for PHYS 43A have the following duties:

  • Assist the instructor in a second two-hour class.
  • Grade weekly worksheets for students from the second class as well.
  • Hold two additional office hours.

 

 

TAing the PHYS 20 or PHYS 40 series laboratory sections
  • The PHYS 20 series is an algebra-based introductory physics sequence that has three lab courses that students usually take while taking the associated lecture course:

  • PHYS 22:  Lab for mechanics, fluids, and heat; taught Autumn quarter.
  • PHYS 24:  Lab for electricity, magnetism, optics; taught Winter quarter.
  • PHYS 26:  Lab for modern physics (special relativity, algebra-based quantum physics, cosmology); taught Spring quarter.
  • The PHYS 40 series is a calculus-based introductory sequence that also has three lab courses that students usually take while taking the associated lecture course:

  • PHYS 46:  Lab for heat and light; taught Autumn quarter.
  • PHYS 42:  Lab for mechanics; taught Winter quarter.
  • PHYS 44:  Lab for electricity and magnetism; taught Spring quarter.
  • The introductory physics labs are Satisfactory/No Credit and have their own syllabi.  Students sign up for lab sections independently of the lecture components.  Like the discussion sections, the labs are interactive and student-driven.  After a brief introduction to the material and equipment, students work in groups of two on the lab.  Instead of passively waiting for students to call him/her, the TA is actively checking in with students to make sure they understand concepts.  This is often done by asking students a question that is an extension of the lab activity that they may have just completed.  If students appear confused, the TAs usually engage students in their own learning by asking them Socratic questions and demonstrating techniques that they can use to be convinced that they are (or are not) on the right track.  Much of the curriculum developed for these classes follows the philosophy of Physics Education Research, which promotes active learning.    

    In addition to leading lab sections, TAs attend mandatory weekly TA meetings for their class.  At these meetings, TAs go through the pre-lab and the lab themselves; identify areas that may confuse students and discuss strategies to help students; check out the equipment and familiarize themselves with troubleshooting techniques.  

    PHYS 20 and PHYS 40 series lab section TAs have a 50% appointment with the following duties:

  • Attend mandatory weekly TA meeting and complete additional preparation for lab section as needed.
  • Lead two lab sections each week.
  • Attend two  lectures each week to interact with students during 'clicker questions' in classes where clickers are used and to ensure consistency in learning goals, notation, etc., between lecture and lab sections. Be sure you are available at least two of three days, Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, at either of the lecture slots.
  • Grade weekly labs and return them at the beginning of the following lab period. If a student needs to re-do a lab or lab report, they should get that feedback even earlier.
  • Grade weekly problem sets for the lecture class.
  • Help with test-running and proof-reading midterm and final exams, and in administering the exams.
  • Attend grading sessions for midterm and final exams. 
  • Staff the Physics Tutoring Center for two hours each week to assist students with homework problems and in understanding concepts.
  • Hold an hour of office hour in the Physics Tutoring Center to assist students with pre-lab questions or with other course-related questions.
  • Help with miscellaneous tasks determined by the Head TA.
  • For a 50% appointment, TAs should plan to spend an average of 20 hours per week over the quarter.

Head Teaching Assistant (HTA) for the PHYS 20 and 40 series

A Head Teaching Assistant (HTA) is assigned to each of the large introductory courses -- i.e., the PHYS 20 and PHYS 40 series courses. The HTA position requires strong organizational, administrative, and interpersonal skills, as well as very good physics acumen. The HTA works with the instructor and the Physics Education Specialist to ensure that the course runs smoothly to maximize the learning opportunities for the students.  If you are interested in furthering your teaching portfolio, this provides you with an excellent opportunity to be actively involved in running a course: helping with problem selection for problem sets and exams, guiding TAs on best teaching practices at the TA meetings, and interacting with students in the course.  The HTA position is a 50% assignment with a salary supplement.  This page contains detailed information on HTA responsibilities and is specific to the HTA position.

Duties and Responsibilities of a HTA

Before the beginning of the quarter:

  • Meet with course instructor to go over syllabus. Establish dates for midterm exams and for all review sessions. Check that canonical homework due date is correct (Tuesdays for the PHYS 20 series and Fridays for the PHYS 40 series).
  • Have the Course Administrator, Vinodhini Krishnan, vkrish@stanford.edu, confirm that all bookstore materials are in stock; depending on the instructor's needs, these could include textbooks, access codes, clickers, workbooks.  
  • If the instructor intends to use online tools such as Ed Discussion or MasteringPhysics (masteringphysics.com), work with the Course Administrator to set up the sites and send relevant instructions to students.  Work with the instructor to develop a policy on TA monitoring of Piazza.
  • Cross-check the TA assignments for sections, Study Hall, Q&A Hours that the Course Administrator has made and documented on the Google sheet.  Fix any conflicts that you notice -- these tend to be cases where a TA is assigned Study Hall during TA meeting or their own section, for instance.
  • Confirm that the Course Administrator has
    • created three mailing lists for the class (xx = course #; qtr = fall or win or spr or sum; y = last number of the year)
      • phxx_qtr202y@lists.stanford.edu (there is one list each for lab and discussion section TAs)
      • hta_phxx_qtr202y@lists.stanford.edu (this is a list where all students can reach out to the Head teaching team (Instructor, HTA, Physics Education Specialist) and mail in OAE letters, ask about conflicts, write about special circumstances.
      • made the HTA and Physics Education Specialist (Chaya Nanavait) administrators and moderators of the lecture class mailing lists, and given the same roles to the HTA and the Lab Manager for the lab TA mailing lists.
      • made the TAs members of the relevant mailing lists
    • added TAs to the Canvas sites (only lab TAs are added to the lab class site; all TAs are added to the lecture site)
  • Room reservations:: Confirm with the Course Administrator that rooms have been reserved for in-person midterm exams if the midterm is given outside class time.
    • Reserve rooms for exam grading. Typical grading schedules are the following:
      • In-class exams are usually graded on the day they are given starting at 3:15 or 4:15 pm.
      • Thursday evening exams are graded on Friday immediately after the TA meeting.
      • Tuesday evening exams are graded on Wednesday starting at 3:15 pm or 4:15 pm.
      • Reserve PAB102/103 for PHYS 40 series exam grading.
      • Reserve PAB 232 for PHYS 20 series exam grading. (Varian 208 might work in a pinch as well.) 
  • Schedule the first organizational TA meeting at a time that is convenient for the instructor, TAs, HTA, and Chaya. Hold it no later than the Friday before the start of classes. If possible, include both lab and discussion section TAs in this first meeting.  It is often easier to schedule the meeting during the early part of finals week for the previous quarter.  At this meeting, the instructor for the course may want to communicate learning goals for the course, teaching strategies, etc. After this introduction, the HTA runs through organizational details, including the following:
    • If the assignment of TAs to sections, lecture attendance, and PTC hours is ready, share that information with the TAs and have them confirm that they can commit to those times for the entire quarter.
    • Communicate assignment of tasks such as writing up problem set or discussion section solutions to TAs.
    • Explain the procedure for writing and checking problem set solutions before they are posted for student use.
    • Announce the dates and times for the midterm grading sessions.
    • Let TAs know the tentative date and time for the final exam grading session (usually the day after the final exam, starting at 10 am).
  • Answer student emails; the most common email is some variant of, "I really need to get into section at xxx time since this is the only time that fits my schedule; those sections are full; can you please add me."  Please remind students of the following:
    • You (the HTA) cannot add or remove a student from a section.
    • There is a lot of movement during the first two weeks of the quarter as students finalize their schedules so they should monitor Axess closely for a spot to open up
    • If needed, they may have to adjust their schedules to accommodate a Physics discussion section.

Beginning/First Week of Quarter:

  • If not already done, provide Elva with a  list of all assignments -- both section and PTC hours -- by the Friday at the end of the first week.
  • Monitor enrollment in individual sections and let Chaya/Vinodhini know if sections are getting too full.
  • If requested by the Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning (VPTL) or Athletic Academic Resource Center (AARC), please add their Peer Tutors as "GUESTS" to the Canvas site.
  • Set up Gradescope  accounts for the course.
  • Confirm that the Course Coordinator has requested after-hour access to building 60 for all  students and TAs.
  • On the Canvas Assignment tab for each class, confirm that the Course Coordinator has created assignments for discussion attendance by week, problem sets, or lab scores and mute assignments by going into the Grades tab.  Unmute scores to release them to students.

During Quarter:

  • With the instructor and Chaya, run the weekly course meetings for discussion section TAs.
  • Attend weekly lab TA meetings to discuss organizational issues. Check in with TAs after they have completed the lab. If changes to the written lab instructions are necessary (e.g., for clarity or accuracy), edit the report and let Chaya know about the changes.  Upload the lab to Canvas and make it available to students very soon after the lab meeting ends, and no later than 6 pm on the day of the meeting.
  • Meet each week with the instructor and/or Chaya to go over course-level planning for the week (problem sets, solutions, exam preview, etc.).
  • Attend at least one lecture a week to maintain consistency in learning goals, notation, etc., and to interact with students during 'clicker questions' in classes where clickers are used.
  • Hold two office hours each week in the PTC.  These could be some combination of weekly reviews of course content, one-on-one assistance, or answering administrative questions.
  • Carefully review TA-written problem set solutions and rubrics before they are made available to other TAs and students.
  • Select exam review session problems;  these could be selected from exams given in earlier years, problems submitted by the TAs, or other sources. Check TA solutions to these  problems. Guide TAs on how to run an effective review session.
  • Hold post-exam sessions, where students can ask problem-related or regrade-related questions.  These sessions are typically an hour long and held on a week night shortly after exams are returned and before the regrade deadline.  These sessions have reduced the number of formal regrade requests that the HTA (you) have to grade.  
  • Handle problems that cannot be resolved by section TAs.
  • Check that scores (section attendance for discussion TAs; lab scores for lab TAs) are entered in Canvas in a timely manner and are visible to students.
  • Check that TAs are consistently returning graded work to students before the next assignment is due.
  • Work with instructor to organize posting of course materials, solutions, etc.

Before Exams:

  • About two weeks before the exam, send an announcement to the entire class reminding them about the upcoming exam's time and date; also remind students with documented disabilities to email a current letter from OAE to you ASAP.

  • Check with Chaya or Elva about reserving a room for OAE students near the normal exam room; typically the 20 series has 3 to 5 students who have extended time while the 40 series has about a dozen students with extended time.

  • Check with Chaya or Elva about reserving rooms for review sessions.

  • Confirm the room reservation for the grading session.
  • Request that Violet (vvc@stanford.edu) order food for the grading session; she will need the course name, names of all those who will be grading, and number of special dietary requests.
  • Assign TAs to photocopy, help with administration, and scanning of exams.

Near End of Quarter:

  • Send (multiple) emails reminding students about the time and location of the final exam.
  • Confirm room reservation for OAE students and for grading with Elva.
  • Give Violet the request for the food order -- you must do this at least one full week in advance.
  • Upload scores from Mastering Physics, iClicker data, etc., to a single spreadsheet; scale scores for each component according to the syllabus.
  • Once total scores are calculated, assist instructor with entering final grades into Axess.

60 Series

TAing the PHYS 60 series discussion

Current (AY 2017-18) Active Learning courses include:

  • PHYS 16: The Origin and Development of the Cosmos (Winter)
  • PHYS 61:  Mechanics and Special Relativity (Autumn)
  • PHYS 63:  Electricity, Magnetism, Optics (Winter)
  • PHYS 65: Quantum and Thermal Physics (Spring)
  • PHYS 70: Foundations of Modern Physics (Autumn; required for Physics and Engineering Physics majors who took 40-series)
  • PHYS 110/210: Advanced Mechanics (Autumn)
  • PHYS 120/121: Intermediate Electricity and Magnetism I and II (Winter/Spring)
  • PHYS 130/131: Quantum Mechanics I and II (Winter/Spring)
  • PHYS 152/252: Introduction to Particle Physics I
  • PHYS 170: Thermodynamics, Kinetic Theory, and Statistical Mechanics I (Autumn)

A TA appointment for these courses is a 25% appointment.   TAs for these courses should expect to spend 10 hours per week, averaged over the quarter, on the following TA responsibilities:

  1. Attend and participate in two class sessions per week, with the possibility of leading one of those sessions.

    • Active learning class sessions are typically a combination of short lectures with interspersed active-learning exercises, conducted in small groups. The instructor and TAs facilitate the activities much like a traditional discussion section based on group problem solving, but with a more rapid turnaround between lectures and activities.

    • Some courses may involve a moderate level of participation in each session, while others may expect TAs to lead one session per week.

  2. Help in preparing, improving, or reviewing active learning exercises.

  3. Hold office hours. Instructors may recommend office hour times. Alternately, TAs poll students to identify a time that works for those students who are likely to come to office hours and that is consistent with problem set due dates. TAs may advertise their office hours as “homework sessions” to encourage students to attend and collaborate on the homework.

  4. Attend weekly planning meeting with the instructional team for the course.

  5. Grade problem sets (PS). All PS must be graded and "returned" to students at least two days before the next PS is due (individual instructors may request earlier returns). PS submitted on Gradescope must be completely graded and released on time. Grades for PS turned in on paper must be entered on Canvas and graded PS must be returned to students on time.  Canvas is used to send out announcements to the entire class about common mistakes on the PS that has just been graded.

  6. Write and/or check solutions to problem sets. If there are multiple TAs for a class, the TAs take turns writing solutions or jointly write solutions.

  7. Assist with miscellaneous, non-weekly tasks, which may include the following:

    • Submitting possible questions for the exam -- TAs are not responsible for writing the exam since that is the instructor's responsibility.

    • Proof-reading the exam; taking the exam to assess clarity and length of the exam; writing up or checking solutions.

    • Leading review sessions before exams.

    • Administering the exam; making sure there are "blue books" available, etc.

    • Grading the exam; entering grades on Canvas for courses that are not using Gradescope; returning physical exams to students or releasing exams on Gradescope.

    • Generating statistics for the exam.

TAing the PHYS 60 series lab section

The PHYS 60 series is a three-course calculus-based introductory sequence for students with very strong preparation in physics (AP Physics C or similar calculus-based college Physics) and mathematics (AP Calculus BC or similar college-based calculus).  

  • PHYS 61:  Mechanics and Special Relativity; taught Autumn quarter
  • PHYS 63:  Electricity and magnetism and optics; taught Winter quarter
  • PHYS 65:  Quantum mechanics and thermodynamics; taught Spring quarter

In addition to the lecture, there are three lab courses that are associated with the lecture courses for the PHYS 60 series:

  • PHYS 62:  Mechanics lab; this is a project-based lab that is taught in the Autumn quarter.
  • PHYS 64:  Electricity and magnetism lab; this is a more traditional lab that is taught in the Winter quarter.
  • PHYS 67:  Modern physics, optics, thermodynamics lab; this lab focuses on error propagation and data analysis and is taught in the Spring quarter.

For AY 2017-18, TA RESPONSIBILITIES for the lecture courses, PHYS 61, 63, and 65 TAS  ARE LISTED BELOW UNDER "ACTIVE LEARNING COURSES"

Lab Section TAs:

The introductory physics labs are pass/fail and have their own syllabi.  Students sign up for the lab course independently of the lecture course.  Like the discussion sections, the labs are interactive and student-driven.  After a brief introduction to the material and equipment, students work in groups of two on the lab. Rather than passively waiting for students to call on him/her, the TA is actively checking in with students to make sure they understand concepts.  This is often done by asking students a question that is an extension of the lab activity that they may have just completed.  If students appear confused, the TAs usually engage students in their own learning by asking them Socratic questions and demonstrating techniques that they can use to be convinced that they are (or are not) on the right track.  Much of the curriculum developed for these classes follows the philosophy of Physics Education Research, which promotes active learning.

Lab TAs attend mandatory weekly TA meetings at which the entire teaching staff discusses strategies for the upcoming week, identifies areas that may confuse students, and discusses strategies to help students.

PHYS 60 series lab sections TAs have a 25% appointment with the following duties:

  • Attend mandatory weekly TA meeting.
  • Complete additional preparation for lab section as needed -- this includes doing the lab yourself, testing equipment, and troubleshooting.
  • Lead one two-hour lab sections each week.
  • Lead an additional two-hour lab section OR hold two hours office as the discussion section TAs do.
  • Grade weekly lab reports and return them at the beginning of the following lab period.  If a student needs to re-do a lab or report, the student should receive feedback even earlier.
  • Help to test-run and proof-read midterm and final exams, and administration of exams.
  • Attend grading sessions for midterm and final exams to grade exams and enter scores. 
  • Help with miscellaneous tasks 

TAs should plan to spend 10 hours per week averaged over the quarter.


 

Active Learning Courses

TAing "Active Learning" courses other than those in the 20 and 40 series

Current (AY 2017-18) Active Learning courses include:

  • PHYS 16: The Origin and Development of the Cosmos (Winter)
  • PHYS 61:  Mechanics and Special Relativity (Autumn)
  • PHYS 63:  Electricity, Magnetism, Optics (Winter)
  • PHYS 65: Quantum and Thermal Physics (Spring)
  • PHYS 70: Foundations of Modern Physics (Autumn; required for Physics and Engineering Physics majors who took 40-series)
  • PHYS 110/210: Advanced Mechanics (Autumn)
  • PHYS 120/121: Intermediate Electricity and Magnetism I and II (Winter/Spring)
  • PHYS 130/131: Quantum Mechanics I and II (Winter/Spring)
  • PHYS 152/252: Introduction to Particle Physics I
  • PHYS 170: Thermodynamics, Kinetic Theory, and Statistical Mechanics I (Autumn)

A TA appointment for these courses is a 25% appointment.   TAs for these courses should expect to spend 10 hours per week, averaged over the quarter, on the following TA responsibilities:

  1. Attend and participate in two class sessions per week, with the possibility of leading one of those sessions.

    • Active learning class sessions are typically a combination of short lectures with interspersed active-learning exercises, conducted in small groups. The instructor and TAs facilitate the activities much like a traditional discussion section based on group problem solving, but with a more rapid turnaround between lectures and activities.

    • Some courses may involve a moderate level of participation in each session, while others may expect TAs to lead one session per week.

  2. Help in preparing, improving, or reviewing active learning exercises.

  3. Hold office hours. Instructors may recommend office hour times. Alternately, TAs poll students to identify a time that works for those students who are likely to come to office hours and that is consistent with problem set due dates. TAs may advertise their office hours as “homework sessions” to encourage students to attend and collaborate on the homework.

  4. Attend weekly planning meeting with the instructional team for the course.

  5. Grade problem sets (PS). All PS must be graded and "returned" to students at least two days before the next PS is due (individual instructors may request earlier returns). PS submitted on Gradescope must be completely graded and released on time. Grades for PS turned in on paper must be entered on Canvas and graded PS must be returned to students on time.  Canvas is used to send out announcements to the entire class about common mistakes on the PS that has just been graded.

  6. Write and/or check solutions to problem sets. If there are multiple TAs for a class, the TAs take turns writing solutions or jointly write solutions.

  7. Assist with miscellaneous, non-weekly tasks, which may include the following:

    • Submitting possible questions for the exam -- TAs are not responsible for writing the exam since that is the instructor's responsibility.

    • Proof-reading the exam; taking the exam to assess clarity and length of the exam; writing up or checking solutions.

    • Leading review sessions before exams.

    • Administering the exam; making sure there are "blue books" available, etc.

    • Grading the exam; entering grades on Canvas for courses that are not using Gradescope; returning physical exams to students or releasing exams on Gradescope.

    • Generating statistics for the exam.

Required Undergraduate Courses

TAing Required Undergraduate Courses

The following non-introductory courses are required for the Physics major:

  • PHYS 70 -- Foundations of Modern Physics (required for 40-series students)
  • PHYS 120/121 -- Intermediate Electricity and Magnetism I and II (first upper-division course taken by majors)
  • PHYS 130/131 -- Quantum Mechanics I and II
  • PHYS 170/171 -- Thermodynamics, Kinetic Theory, and Statistical Mechanics I and II
  • PHYS 110 -- Advanced Mechanics ("mezzanine" course, cross-listed with Physics 210 and taken by both undergraduate and graduate students) treated like undergraduate courses as far as TA responsibilities are concerned.  
  • PHYS 111 -- Partial Differential Equations of Mathematical Physics
  • PHYS 112 -- Mathematical Methods of Theoretical Physics (one option for advanced math requirement)

This page ONLY deals with the responsibilities for PHYS 171 and 112 TAs.  The responsibilities for TAs in the other required courses are down below in the active learning section

A TA appointment for PHYS 171 and 112 is a 25% appointment.   TAs for these courses should expect to spend 10 hours per week, averaged over the quarter, on the following TA responsibilities:

  1. Lead a weekly 80-minute discussion section.
    • Weekly discussion sections are held for all courses that are required for the Physics major.  These discussion sections should facilitate active learning.  To engage students, the TAs and/or instructor select problems that are well-suited for group problem-solving. (The optimal number is 3 students per group.)  After a very brief introduction by the TA to the physics introduced that week, students work on problems in groups, while the TA asks the students questions, answers their questions, and helps them develop a deeper understanding of the material.  TAs are encouraged to minimize the amount of time they are "lecturing at the board" or "holding the markers".
    • Discussion section time is usually determined on the first day of class based on TA and student availability.  Discussion sections should not be scheduled during the dinner hour (5 to 7 pm).  However, sections can be held at either 4:15 to 5:30 pm or 7:00 to 8:15 pm.  Like lectures, discussion sections must start at specific start times; check with Elva once a scheduling window has been identified.
    • Discussion sections should not be scheduled the day before the problem set is due.  Office hours -- not discussion section -- are appropriate for dealing with problem-set-related questions.
  2. Hold office hours (2 hours per week) -- students are polled to identify a time that works for those students who are likely to come to office hours.
  3. Grade problem sets.  Grades must be entered on Canvas and graded problem sets must be returned to students at least two days before the next problem set is due.  Canvas is used to send out announcements to the entire class about common mistakes on the problem set that has just been graded.
  4. Write solutions to problem sets -- if there are multiple TAs for a class, the TAs take turns writing solutions.
  5. Assist with miscellaneous tasks, which may include
    • Submitting possible questions for the exam -- you are not responsible for writing the exam since that is the instructor's responsibility.
    • Proof-reading the exam; taking the exam to assess clarity and the length of the exam; writing up solutions.
    • Leading review sessions before the exams.
    • Administering the exam; making sure there are "blue books" available, etc.
    • Grading the exam; entering grades on Canvas; returning exams to students; generating statistics for the exam.
Undergraduate Elective Courses

TAing Undergraduate Elective Courses

The following courses are electives for Physics majors:

  • PHYS 113 -- Computational Physics
  • PHYS 134 -- Advanced Topics in Quantum Mechanics
  • PHYS 152 -- Introduction to Particle Physics I
  • PHYS 160 -- Introduction to Stellar and Galactic Astrophysics
  • PHYS 161 -- Introduction to Extrastellar Astrophysics and Cosmology
  • PHYS 172 -- Solid State Physics

Some of these courses are "mezzanine" courses -- i.e., they are cross-listed as both 100- and 200-level courses that are taken by both undergraduate and graduate students.  These mezzanined courses are treated like undergraduate courses as far as TA responsibilities are concerned.  

A teaching assistantship for these courses is a 25% appointment.   As a TA you will spend 10 hours per week, averaged over the quarter.  TA responsibilities for PHYS 152 TAs are listed in the active learning section on this page; TA responsibilities for all other courses are listed below.

  1. Lead a weekly 75- or 90-minute discussion section if the course instructor requires it.
    • Weekly discussion sections are encouraged and may be required by the instructor. These discussion sections should facilitate active learning.  To engage students, the TAs and/or instructor select problems that are well-suited for group problem solving. (The optimal number is 3 students per group.)  After a very brief introduction by the TA to the physics introduced that week, students work on problems in groups, while the TA asks the students questions, answers their questions, and helps them develop a deeper understanding of the material.  TAs are encouraged to minimize the amount of time they are "lecturing at the board" or "holding the markers".
    • Discussion section time is usually determined on the first day of class based on TA and student availability.  Discussion sections should not be scheduled during the dinner hour (5 to 7 pm).  However, sections can be held at either 4:15 to 5:30 pm or 7:00 to 8:15 pm.  Like lectures, discussion sections must start at specific start times; check with Elva once a scheduling window has been identified.
    • Discussion sections should not be scheduled the day before the problem set is due.  Office hours -- not discussion section -- are appropriate for dealing with problem-set-related questions.
  2. Hold office hours (2 hours per week) -- students are polled to identify a time that works for those students who are likely to come to office hours.
  3. Grade problem sets.  Grades must be entered on Canvas and graded problem sets must be returned to students at least two days before the next problem set is due.  Canvas is used to send out announcements to the entire class about common mistakes on the problem set that has just been graded.
  4. Write solutions to problem sets -- if there are multiple TAs for a class, the TAs take turns writing solutions.
  5. Assist with miscellaneous tasks, which may include
    • Submitting possible questions for the exam -- you are not responsible for writing the exam since that is the instructor's responsibility.
    • Proof-reading the exam; taking the exam to assess clarity and the length of the exam; writing up solutions.
    • Leading review sessions before the exams.
    • Administering the exam; making sure there are "blue books" available, etc.
    • Grading the exam; entering grades on Canvas for courses that are not using Gradescope; returning paper exams to students or releasing exams on Gradescope; generating statistics for the exam.
Intermediate and Advanced Lab Courses

TAing Intermediate and Advanced lab courses

The following lab courses are required for Physics majors:

  • PHYS 105 -- Intermediate Physics Laboratory I:  Analog Electronics.
  • PHYS 107* -- Intermediate Physics Laboratory II:  Experimental Techniques and Data Analysis.   Current topic:  lasers, modern optics.
  • PHYS 108 -- Advanced Physics Laboratory Project.  Current topic:  low temperature condensed matter physics.

A teaching assistantship for these courses is a 25% appointment.   As a TA you will spend 10 hours per week averaged over the quarter on the TA responsibilities listed below.

PHYS 105: 7 or 8 weekly labs followed by a 2- to 3-week design project.

  • Lead one section of up to eight students for two 2.5-hour sections per week.
  • Grade up to eight weekly lab reports and occasional problem sets.
  • Write problem set solutions (taking turns with other TAs) once or twice during the quarter.
  • Perform the lab yourself prior to the lab section.
  • Attend weekly course staff meeting.
  • During the final 3 weeks of the quarter, assist students in a final design project.  No lab reports are due during this time, so additional lab hours are scheduled.
  • Grade final design project reports.

PHYS 107:  4 two-week labs.  This course satisfies the "Writing in the Major" requirement for Physics majors*. Reports are written in the format of a Physical Review Lettersjournal paper.

  • Lead one section of up to six students for two 2.5-hour sections per week.
  • Grade four lab reports; for two of the four reports, students revise the report based on initial TA feedback and resubmit for the final grading.
  • Perform the lab yourself prior to the lab section.
  • Attend weekly course staff meeting.
  • Coach students on writing in up to four bi-weekly one-on-one meetings.*
*Since PHYS 107 is a "Writing in the Major" course, TAs for PHYS 107 receive an additional stipend of ~$700 for the additional time required to coach students on writing.

PHYS 108: Students design, build, instrument and execute one experiment in low temperature physics during the quarter.

  • Lead one section of 4-5 students.
  • Schedule and lead twice-weekly meetings with one section.
  • Guide students without actually doing the work for them, but making sure they don't get into trouble -- i.e., role of TA is similar to that of a research advisor.
  • Be available during the last three weeks of the quarter for up to three cool-downs of your group's apparatus using LN2 and LHe.
Graduate Courses

TAing Physics Graduate Courses

TA duties for graduate courses depend on whether the course is or is not cross-listed as an undergraduate course.

A.  Graduate Courses that are cross-listed as both 100- and 200-level courses:

Some graduate courses are "mezzanine" courses; i.e., they are cross-listed as 100- and 200-level courses.  TAs assigned to these courses have the same responsibilities as TAs for the corresponding undergraduate courses.

1.  TAs assigned to PHYS 110/210 have the same responsibilities as TAs for undergraduate courses required in the Physics major:

2.  TAs assigned to the following mezzanine courses have the same responsibilities as TAs for elective courses for the Physics major:

  • PHYS 134/234 -- Advanced Topics in Quantum Mechanics
  • PHYS 152/252 -- Introduction to Particle Physics I
  • PHYS 160/260 -- Introduction to Stellar and Galactic Astrophysics
  • PHYS 161/261 -- Introduction to Extrastellar Astrophysics and Cosmology
  • PHYS 172/ APPPHYS 272 -- Solid State Physics

B.  Graduate Courses That Are Not Cross-Listed with a 100-level course:

TAs for graduate courses that are not cross-listed with an undergraduate course typically do not lead discussion sections, although they are welcome to. 

Teaching Assistantships for these courses are 25% appointments.   As a TA you will spend 10 hours per week, averaged over the quarter, on the TA responsibilities listed below.

  1. Hold office hours (2 hours per week) -- students are polled to identify a time that works for those students who are likely to come to office hours.
  2. Grade problem sets.  Grades must be entered on Canvas and graded problem sets must be returned to students at least two days before the next problem set is due.  Canvas is used to send out announcements to the entire class about common mistakes on the problem set that has just been graded.
  3. Write solutions to problem sets -- if there are multiple TAs for a class, the TAs take turns writing solutions.
  4. Assist with miscellaneous tasks, which may include
    • Submitting possible questions for the exam -- you are not responsible for writing the exam since that is the instructor's responsibility.
    • Proof-reading the exam; taking the exam to assess clarity and the length of the exam; writing up solutions.
    • Leading review sessions before the exams.
    • Administering the exam; making sure there are "blue books" available, etc.
    • Grading the exam; entering grades on Canvas for courses that do not use Gradescope; returning paper exams to students or releasing exams on Gradescope; generating statistics for the exam.
Observational Astronomy Courses

TAing Observational Astronomy Courses

PHYS 50 (Observational Astronomy Laboratory) and PHYS 100 (Introduction to Observational Astrophysics) each combine a hands-on observational component with a lecture component. PHYS 50 is intended for non-technical majors and is offered in the Autumn quarter; PHYS 100 is intended for technical majors and is offered in the Spring quarter.  TAs for these courses must be trained to use the telescopes at the Stanford Student Observatory

Teaching assistantships for these courses are 25% appointments.  TAs should plan to spend time with students during night-sky observations (approximately 8 to 11 pm or later).  In addition to leading interactive discussion sections and assisting with viewing sessions, TAs for these courses will perform the following duties.

  1. Attend late-evening observatory sessions as arranged with the instructor.
  2. Hold office hours (2 hours per week) -- students are polled to identify a time that works for those students who are likely to come to office hours.
  3. Grade problem sets and lab reports.  Grades must be entered on CourseWork (CW) and graded problem sets and labs must be returned to students at least two days before the next problem set or lab is due.  CW is used to send out announcements to the entire class about common mistakes on the problem set or lab report that has just been graded.
  4. Write solutions to problem sets -- if there are multiple TAs for a class, the TAs take turns writing solutions.
  5. Assist with miscellaneous tasks, which may include
  • Submitting possible questions for the exam -- you are not responsible for writing the exam since that is the instructor's responsibility.
  • Proof-reading the exam; taking the exam to assess clarity and the length of the exam; writing up solutions.
  • Leading review sessions before the exams.
  • Administering the exam; making sure there are "blue books" available, etc.
  • Grading the exam; entering grades on Canvas; returning exams to students; generating statistics for the exam.
Summer Series

TAing PHYS 20 Summer Series

The summer quarter PHYS 20 series TAships are short, intense TAing sessions that easily take up to 40 hours each week for the four-week duration of the course.  Each summer quarter PHYS 20 series TA will be responsible for one section of students.  A section of students will meet for discussion sections three times a week.   In addition to leading the section, each TA is also responsible for:

  • Attending all lectures and interacting with students during clicker question discussions
  • Grading all student work
  • Completing discussion section problems for the week beforehand
  • Determining rubrics for graded items so there is consistency across TAs
  • Holding four hours of office hours at the PTC each week.  These are typically scheduled on Wednesdays and Fridays.  When scheduling office hours or review sessions keep in mind time zone differences
  • Miscellaneous tasks that come up during the quarter, such as proof-reading and completing exams and offering feedback; writing up solutions etc.
TA Salary and Tuition Support

Appointment

SALARY
PER
QUARTER
Salary
PER
PAY PERIOD
School of
H&S Tuition
Allowance
School of
Engineering Tuition
Allowance

TA 25%

$6,123

$1,020.50

$5,885

$6,270

TA 30%

$7,347

$1,224.60

$7,062

$7,524

TA 50%

$12,246

$2,041

$11,770

$12,540

HTA* 50% PHYS 20 series

$13,028

$2,171.33

$11,770

$12,540

HTA* 50% PHYS 40 series

$13,528

$2,254.67

$11,770

$12,540

Course Assistant** 25%

$5,910

$985

$5,885

$6,270

Course Assistant** 30%

$7,092

1,182

$7,062

$7,524

 

* HTA = Head Teaching Assistant

** Course Assistant (CA) appointments do not count towards the three-quarter TA requirement for graduate students in the Physics Department unless a petition has been filed.  See "Course Assistant" page for details.

Regardless of the type of appointment, graduate students who are TAs or CAs and have reached TGR status receive a total tuition allowance of $3,531 corresponding to TGR tuition.

Undergraduate TAs receive the same salaries but do not receive a tuition allowance.

Summer TAs are paid the same as regular academic year TAs, just over a shorter period of time. 

Students in coterminal Master's programs should refer to this link for detailed information on tuition assessment and Undergraduate vs. Graduate status. Coterm students who are eligible and opt to change to the graduate coterminal student group and are assessed the applicable graduate tuition rate will receive the relevant tuition allowance.

Graders are paid hourly and do not receive any tuition allowance.  Hourly grading rate for 2021-22 Academic Year is $25 per hour.