Columbia Computer Science Instructional Assistant Page

Thank you for your interest in an Instructional Assistant position.

Announcements (Fall 2015)

Last updated: 8/31/2015

TA/CA Required: COMS W4156 Advanced Software Engineering

TA/CA applicants should be expert Java programmers and be thoroughly familiar with the Java ecosystem (most notably JUnit or equivalent) and hopefully also Play or some analogous web development framework. Experience with the Atlassian tool suite (e.g., Jira) a plus. Please list this as a preferred choice on your MICE application if you are interested.

Contact Gail Kaiser for more information.

TA/CA Required: COMS W4252 Introduction to Computational Learning Theory

TA/CA applicants should have successfully completed this course (or an equivalent graduate theory / machine learning course) with a high grade. Please list this as a preferred choice on your MICE application if you are interested.

Contact Rocco Servedio for more information.

TA/CA Required: COMS W3101-4 Programming Languages (Ruby on Rails)

TA/CA applicants should have basic Ruby on Rails and web development experience. Experience with MongoDB is a plus. They should be available to hold office hours once a week on campus.Please list this as a preferred choice on your MICE application if you are interested.

Contact Emily Stolfo for more information.


The Computer Science Department requires that you:

  1. Are a currently registered student at Columbia University
  2. Are in good academic and conduct standing with the University (For more information, refer to Columbia Engineering Policy on Conduct and Discipline and Columbia University Policies and Regulations)

Please note that by submitting your IA application, you grant permission to the Computer Science Department to inquire about your disciplinary and conduct history and also grant permission to the Graduate Student Affairs Office/the Office of Judicial Affairs to release relevant information.

Application Process

You apply for an Instructional Assistant position using the Computer Science Department’s MICE system. If you do not have a MICE account, please email Please go to the Instructional Assistant menu and select “Instructional Assistant Application” to start the application process.

If you are selected to be an Instructional Assistant, you will receive an email from the MICE system. Please note that while most of the Instructional Assistant assignments are completed by the first week of classes, the selection process may continue until 2 to 3 weeks into the semester.

Appointment Process

You will be notified by email when you are selected for an Instructional Assistant position. An Instructional Assistant who has never worked at the university must complete an I-9 regardless of citizenship or visa status. Failure to complete and submit I-9 and other necessary employment paperwork to the department within 3 days of accepting the position in MICE will result in a forfeiture of the position and pay.


There are three different types of Instructional Assistant positions: Teaching Assistant, TAIII, and Course Assistant.

Teaching Assistants are mostly doctoral students. For a few first- and second-year undergraduate courses with large enrollments, high-achieving undergraduate students who have performed well in these courses may serve as Teaching Assistants (TAIII) for several semesters. Primary responsibilities include:

Course Assistants are high-achieving MS and advanced UG students who have performed well in the course or a course with similar content. Primary responsibilities are:

Course Assistants do not hold recitation sections or to give lectures. Specific duties may vary based on class and instructor requirements.

Code of Conduct

As an Instructional Assistant, you play a valuable and integral role in shaping the ethical direction of our students. You are ambassadors and role models. As such, the following four principles must be adhered to: respect, trustworthiness, fairness, and responsibility. An Instructional Assistant treats others with respect: An Instructional Assistant acts in a trustworthy manner: An Instructional Assistant treats students fairly: An Instructional Assistant acts in a responsible manner:


If you have any questions please contact me at and the IA coordinators at