Undergraduate TA and Mentor Programs in Computer Science


Discussion leader/facilitator for “Birds of a Feather” session to discuss undergraduate TA/mentor programs in Computer Science at various stages in their evolution. Includes brief presentations by co-facilitators:


Undergraduates have been an important part of the teaching staff at many universities for decades, but this is not a universal practice. This BOF provides a forum to discuss undergraduate TA/mentor programs at various stages in their evolution. Attendees will have an opportunity to discuss the benefits, best practices, and research questions related to the use of undergraduates as teaching assistants and/or mentors. The audience is expected to consist of faculty that have already implemented such programs, and those who might be considering doing so, and want to share information about successes and challenges.

Discussion Leader(s):

Phill Conrad will facilitate the discussion and invite Colleen Lewis, Cynthia Lee and Diba Mirza to briefly speak about the Undergraduate TA/Mentor programs at their respective institutions. During the balance of the time participants will be invited to contribute ideas or ask questions related to the use of undergraduate TAs and mentors.

Expertise of Discussion Leader(s):

Diba Mirza and Phill Conrad are faculty in the Computer Science department at UC Santa Barbara, where they have created an undergraduate mentor program in the past two years. Colleen Lewis is an Associate Professor of CS at Harvey Mudd College, and is the lead PI for the csteachingtips.org project, a project to collect and document CS pedagogical content knowledge. Cynthia Lee is a Lecturer in CS at Stanford University, and works closely with the longstanding undergraduate TA program in the department.

For more information: