Undergraduate Teaching Assistant (UTA) Information

Applications for the Spring 2022 Semester are open. We fully expect that all UTAs are on campus in Spring 2022. 

Apply Now

Upon successful completion of your application, you will receive an email confirmation. You can also double check if your application has been recorded by revisiting the application link. If you can fill out an application again, we did not receive it.

We cannot hire students who will be residing outside the country (this includes studying abroad) and we cannot accept anyone on a volunteer basis. You must be an enrolled student during the semester you are a UTA i.e. not on leave. Even if you have been a UTA previously, you must re-apply to be a UTA each semester.

For 101/201 -- If you choose one as a first choice and the other as a second choice, you will not likely be considered for the second choice course, regardless if you were a previous UTA for that course. For example, if you put 101 as your first choice and 201 as your second choice, you will not be considered for 201 because it is your second choice. This is only the case for 101/201 because of the number of applications we receive.

The soft deadline for applications is the Last Day of class December 3, 2021. Applications can be submitted after that, and will continue to be open through Winter Break but we cannot guarantee full consideration, especially for courses that will hold interviews. Depending on which course(s) you applied for, you may receive separate emails with follow up surveys or questions. Students applying for 101, 201, 210, 330 will have to interview. Different courses have different timelines for UTA selections.

Contact the UTA Program Coordinator, Georgia Tse, uta-program@cs.duke.edu, if you have any questions about being a UTA or your application.

Overview

If you have taken a CompSci course previously, then you know there are many other people helping the professor to support your learning in that course, e.g., returning feedback about your assignments, reviewing concepts in a recitation section. Most of these duties are done by undergraduate students just like you! Here, you can get a chance to take part in a rewarding job, allowing you to help your fellow students out as they go through the same journey you once did.

Consideration

Ideally, you loved the course that you want to UTA for! You should have at least taken the course before or have the equivalent background experience in the course topics and programming languages  or communicate with the professor that you feel confident that you grasped the materials covered in the course you would like to UTA.

If you have the time and expertise, you can indicate that you are willing to be a UTA for multiple courses (of your preferred choices). We will coordinate with you if we have such need.

Courses that need UTAs for Spring 2022

Course Expected Duties Consideration
COMPSCI 101: Intro to Computer Science (Rodger)
  • Attend one lab training per week
  • Grade assignments
  • Lead lab section
  • Hold office hours
  • Answer Ed questions
  • Grade exams and final

Must have availability to lead lab sections.

Interview necessary for new UTAs.

Estimated 4-6 hours/week.

COMPSCI 201: Data Structures and Algorithms (Fain)

  • Attend weekly meetings on Thursdays
  • Grade assignments
  • Lead discussion section
  • Hold office hours in the evening
  • Answer Ed questions
  • Grade exams and final

Must have availability to lead a discussion section, which are throughout F 10:15am–4:45pm.

Interview necessary for new UTAs.

Estimated 6-8 hours/week.

COMPSCI 207: iOS Mobile Programming (Thomas)    
COMPSCI 210D: Intro to Computer Systems (Wills, Lebeck, Fain)
  • Attend a weekly meeting
  • Grade assignments
  • Lead discussion section
  • Hold office hours
  • Answer Ed questions

Interview necessary for new UTAs.

Estimated 6-8 hours/week.

COMPSCI 216: Everything Data (Stephens-Martinez)
  • Grade weekly assignments & labs
  • Hold office hours
  • Attending weekly teaching team meeting

Strong preference for students who have taken CS 216 or proficiency programming in python and other statistics/data science experience at the 200+ level.

Estimated 5-7 hours/week.

COMPSCI 230: Discrete Math for CompSci (Munagala)
  • Attend regular grading parties
  • Grade assignments
  • Lead recitation session
  • Hold office hours in the evening
  • Answer Piazza
  • Grade exams

Min. requirement: CompSci 230 or equivalent. You should be able to handle the concepts the students work with in this course.

Recitation is various times on F.

COMPSCI 240: Race, Gender, Class & Computing (Washington)
  • Grade
  • Answer Piazza
  • Hold office hours
 
COMPSCI 243: Programming Interview Skills (Astrachan)
  • Office hours
  • Help during class
 
COMPSCI 250: Computer Architecture (Sorin)
  • Attend weekly meetings
  • Grade exams and homework
  • Lead recitation session
  • Hold office hours
  • Answer Ed questions  

 

 

COMPSCI 260: Computational Genomics (Hartemink)
  • Hold weekly office hours
  • Answer questions on Piazza
  • Contribute to timely grading, done as a group one day every other week

Min requirement: Must have taken COMPSCI 260 or otherwise be knowledgeable about the course material and Python

If you have taken COMPSCI 260, you need not attend the lectures (though you are welcome to)

COMPSCI 290.02: iOS Mobile App Development (Phillips)
  • Grade assignments
  • Hold office hours
  • Answer Ed questions
Min. requirement: Background with app development or completion of COMPSCI 207/507.
COMPSCI 308D: Advanced Software Design and Implementation (Duvall)
  • Evaluate student projects
  • Attend regular planning meeting
  • Independently meet with students regularly
  • Grade student demos
Min Requirement: Completion of COMPSCI 307 and internship experience by Fall 2021 OR COMPSCI 308
COMPSCI 323: Microeconomics (Conitzer)
  • Must attend lectures unless have taken either this course or the graduate version
  • Grade
  • Hold office hours
  • Answer Piazza questions
  • Generally be part of the course team

If you haven't taken a version of this course/graduate version before, then you will also be expected to spend time keeping up with the material.  You may not fall behind relative to what is happening in class.

Other background that will help you be an effective UTA: strong math, algorithms, game theory, linear programming.  Not all of these are necessarily required but again, you need to stay ahead of the students in the class.

COMPSCI 330: Design/Analysis Algorithms (Ge)
  • Attend regular grading sessions
  • Hold office hours
  • Grade exams
  • Run discussion sections
  • Answer questions on Ed
Interview necessary for new UTAs.
COMPSCI 334: Mathematical Foundations (Rodger)
  • Grade programming assignments and JFLAP exercises
  • Hold office hours
 
COMPSCI 342: Information and the Internet (Astrachan)    
COMPSCI 351: Computer Security (Nayak, Reiter)    
COMPSCI 356: Computer Network Architecture (X. Yang)
  • Grade exams and homework
  • Grade labs
  • Hold weekly office hours
  • Answer Piazza
 
COMPSCI 370: Intro to AI (Parr)
  • Attend regular grading parties
  • Hold office hours in the evening
  • Grade exams
 
COMPSCI 507D: Mobile App Development (Thomas)
  • Homework grading
  • Office hours around homework assignments
  • Help with team projects in second half of semester
  • Answering student questions on Teams

Class attendance - Recommended but not required if other TAs are present.

Experience: CS 207 or CS 590 in the past or previous mobile app development experience with iOS / Swift / Xcode

COMPSCI 516: Database Systems (Roy)

A subset of the following (depending on preference):

  • Grading (some of) three homework assignments and two exams
  • Helping with some in-class labs
  • Holding office hours

Should have taken CompSci 316 (by Fall '21).

CS316 and CS516 have some overlap, and 516 (see Fall '19 version) has some new topics and homework on old/new database systems -- you are welcome to help with whatever you are comfortable with.

COMPSCI 527: Computer Vision (Tomasi)
  • Hold office hours
  • Answer Piazza queries
  • Help grade assignments and exams (grading parties with Gradescope) 

Minimum requirements: Completion of COMPSCI 527 or equivalent. 

COMPSCI 590.02: Computational Biology (Donald)
  • Attend lecture
  • Hold office hours
  • Answer Piazza questions
It would be good to have a background in computational biology. However,  an interest in computational biology/Machine learning applied to biology would be fine.

 

Duties and Commitment

Being a UTA is a serious obligation that requires a firm and substantial weekly commitment on your part. It requires timely checking and responses to communication (e.g. email, Slack, Piazza). It is a semester-by-semester job that extends from the first day of classes through the end of final exams. You must re-apply each semester.

All UTAs will be required to attend a training session at the beginning of the semester before school starts.

Duties will vary between classes, but you can generally expect to do some of the following:

  • Grade – Responsibilities range from students’ assignments or in upper-level courses, projects. Sometimes a professor may have UTAs grade student exams.
  • Hold office hours – Most courses will have office hours in the evening. Office hours are used to answer student questions about topics covered in lecture, homework problems, etc.
  • Lead a recitation/lab – Lower level courses such as 101, 201, 230, etc. have a discussion section where students will get more application problems on topics covered in class. UTAs will lead students through the problems and facilitate collaboration and discussion among students about the topic. UTAs will have to prepare beforehand by attending a lab meeting, and/or looking over the material, and/or doing the problems beforehand so that they can come prepared for answering questions.
  • Answer Piazza questions – Most courses use Piazza as a tool where instructors can post course announcements, and communicate important information to students. Students can use this platform to ask questions about logistics of the course, get clarification on the homework, or a study problem. The professor cannot answer all questions in a timely manner, so UTAs will also respond to questions that students may have.
  • Attend planning meetings – Faculty will arrange a regular meeting to gather all their UTAs so that they can prepare UTAs for the upcoming week or address questions and concerns that UTAs may also have.
  • Meet with student groups – Some project-based courses such as 308 or 316 will require that UTAs independently meet with the group of students that they are assigned to.
  • Administrative duties - If you are a Head UTA, you may have to send out emails and organize various UTAs for specific duties. The professor will be in close contact and instruct you.
  • Attend lecture - Some faculty need UTAs during regular class time because the course is structured like a lab.

Compensation

The pay begins at $12 per hour with opportunities for increases every semester of serving as a UTA. You must detail your hours biweekly and fill out a timecard on time.

Work Study

Work study is not required for this job, but it is encouraged. You do not have to be on financial aid to be on work study. Please see the Duke Financial Aid Work Study section for more information on how to sign up for work study.

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