CS UTA Program collaboration with Brown University

March 27, 2019

Prof. Diba Mirza piloted UCSB's Computer Science Undergraduate Tutor program in 2017 which has now doubled in size since its debut. She took to the opportunity to visit Brown University to discuss best practices with Prof. Andy van Dam who had started the UTA program at Brown CS in the 1960s and is still part of it. 

The UCSB CS Department UT program, in its current instantiation compensates UTs with course credit in their first quarter of service, while they are undergoing training: all first time UTs are required to take a course under the “Topics in Computer Science” (CMPSC 190J), which is a 4-unit upper division course that counts towards the B.S. C.S. degree requirements as an upper division elective. Students that have completed this course become eligible to apply for paid positions offered under the “Remedial Tutor” title. Upper division credit and paid positions are important to attract experienced UTs who typically have competing offers from industry and research labs. The process of recruiting, selecting, training, organizing and evaluating UTs is described below.

In the article, written by Jesse Polhemus at Brown University, Diba is quoted "there is a prevailing assumption that only graduate students are qualified to work as Teaching Assistants in undergraduate courses. Brown CS proves that assumption wrong, and that was very interesting to us. 

To read more about Prof. Mirza's visit to Brown University, click here