MAE495: TA Training Seminar

TA consultant (TAC): Shalom Ruben
TAC advisor: Prof. Adrienne Lavine
Wed 4-5:50PM
Math Sciences 5138
Office Hours: email me

The primary objective of this course is, through discussion, micro-teaching, and peer/self evaluation, to improve our teaching skills. For the most part, this class is not a lecture course. We all have to take part in helping each other fine tune our skills. A secondary objective is to get an idea of the resources that are available for a TA on campus.


  1. Attendance: No more than 1 missed classes (unless it’s important of course)

  2. You will be video taped lecturing a technical topic and evaluated

  3. Visit a fellow TA’s discussion section and write about what you take away from it.

  4. (Not yet a requirement) Apply for a Mini Grant for the class that you’re TAing

    1. See anouncements below for example Mini-Grants


  1. TA Handbook (online only)

  2. The College Mathematics Journal dowloadable (older editions) from the library’s JSTOR online archive

  3. The Mathematics Magazine dowloadable (older editions) from the library’s JSTOR online archive

  4. Tools for Teaching (part of the book online)

  5. Sexual Harassment and Academic Integrity Workshop

  6. Mini-Grants

  7. Feedback

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Week Date Description Assignment
1 Sep 30 - Teaching Strategies (Pedagogy) - Email Cathy Bell
to reserve space at the
Sexual Harrassment
Workshop on Oct 21st
- read Chap. 12 & 13 from
Tools for Teaching
2 Oct 7 - Problem Solving
- Geust Speaker on Courseweb
- Choose paper from
JSTOR Website to lecture
3 Oct 14 - Giving Feedback - Start Micro-teaching
4 Oct 21 - Sexual Harassment
and Academic Integrity Workshop
- Go to Workshop
5 Oct 28 - Technology
- Guest Speaker on the Library
- Micro-teaching
6 Nov 4 - Guest Speaker on Student
Psychological Services
- Micro-teaching
7 Nov 11 - No Class: Veterans Day Holiday!
8 Nov 18 - Micro-teaching Micro-teaching
9 Dec 25 - No Class: Thanksgiving Eat Alot!
10 Dec 2 - Finish Presentations
if necessary
- Micro-teaching
- TA visit write-up due


Name Date Title Course TAing (FALL 09)
Cham, Christopher Dec 2
Chiu, Phillip Dec 2
Chung, Ching-Yen Nov 18 “On the Early History of the Singular Value Decomposition”
Dankongkakul, Ben Dec 2
Hettel, Rowan Nov 18 “Coloring Symmetrical Objects Symmetrically” MAE 183
Hockel, Joshua Oct 28 “worlds biggest taco”
Jung, Jaedal Dec 2 ENGR 101
Larsen, Bradley Nov 4 “Constructing a Poincar√© Line with Straightedge and Compass” MAE 102
Lorentz, Thomas Oct 28 “An Optimization Oddity” MAE 171A
Panchal, Jay Nov 18 “Honey, Where Should We Sit?”
Simonelli, James Dec 2 MAE 154S
Sin, Kevin Nov 4 pressure losses in pipe flow MAE 157
Vetch, Naveen Oct 28 differential (linear and Bernoullie) equations
Witkowski, Bradford Nov 18 “Using Tangent Lines to Define Means”



  • Applied for Mini-Grant:

I propose to purchase a subscription to the math teaching resources “Mathematics Magazine” and “College Mathematics Journal.” Both journals are included in the 94 dollar subscription price. The UCLA Library does not maintain a hardcopy subscription. The Mathematics Magazine presents articles and notes on undergraduate mathematical topics and provides ideas for teaching mathematics in the classroom. The College Mathematics Journal emphasizes topics taught in the first two years of the undergraduate college curriculum. Both journals will be used to enhance mathematics instruction in undergraduate courses. This resource will be housed in a departmental library for Teaching Assistants in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department. I plan to integrate this material into our Teaching Assistant Seminar, MAE 495 by asking TAs-in-training to select an article and present its methods, problems, and solutions in their microteaching.

Here are some examples of what mini-grants have funded for our dept:

    • a years’ subscription to Survey Monkey for the assessment effects on commuting engineering students performance.

    • field trip to Northrop Grumman in El Segundo, CA.

    • field trip to Nissan in Torrance

  • Depending on your (495 students) flexibility, we may subsititue Week 2 for the following workshop:

Math/Sciences Problem Solving Workshop
Thursday, October 8, 2009
4-6 p.m. W G YOUNG CS50


  • Go to see Carl Wieman Monday, Oct 12, at 4pm in Franz Hall 1178:

Carl Wieman will be giving a talk on “Science education for the 21st century: Using the insights of science to teach/learn science". Carl is a distinguished professor and Nobel Laureate of physics and has some keen ideas about science education. As educators in our Foundations of Scientific Inquiry General Education courses we thought you would like to know about this opportunity to hear him speak. The lecture is Monday, Oct 12, at 4pm in Franz Hall 1178 and we hope you will be able to attend.

  • Next week (Week 3) will be postponed because I am presenting at the 2nd Annual Dynamic Systems and Control Conference (abstract)

  • The Mini-Grant (see 9-30-09 announcement) was approved


"Your job is not to show off your knowledge but to better theirs."
- Unknown