CS198 - Teaching Computer Science

Apply to Section Lead

Are you interested in teaching and want a fun job that makes a difference? If so, apply to become a section leader for the CS106 program!

The section leading application for Autumn 2021 is not yet available. Check back later, or email
cs198@cs.stanford.edu if you have any questions about applying to section lead. .

Why should I section lead?

There are a plenty of reasons.
  1. Teaching and grading helps you learn better. Section leading gives you a good opportunity to review Python and C++ nuts and bolts that you might have forgotten. Explaining a concept to someone really helps you understand that concept a lot better.
  2. Teaching feels good. Do you remember those times you frowned at the screen and wondered why the ball didn't hit the brick when you're implementing breakout? Do you remember the gratifying moment when you mastered recursion? Section leading is a perfect place for you to support students and help them succeed in times like this!
  3. Fun! You might have enough of programming, but you can never have enough fun! CS198 strives to create a fun and tight sense of community among section leaders. We hire new section leaders every quarter, so you get to know more people every quarter. Teaching is awesome, but we also have fun outside of the classroom! We go on road trips, race in Human Mario Kart, play capture the flag, hold board game nights, and more!
  4. Tech companies and grad schools love us. Section leading hones your teaching skills, technical skills, debugging skills, and people skills. Those are the skills that job market and grad schools are looking for. Every quarter, we host special recruiting events with lots of awesome companies that are open just to section leaders. These events are often a good opportunity to find internships and full-time jobs!

A Little Bit about CS198

First-quarter section leaders receive 3 or 4 units of credit through enrollment in CS198, Teaching Computer Science. New section leaders who take the 3-unit option are paid for the time they spend grading, holding Interactive Grading sessions, and staffing extra office hours in the LaIR; experienced section leaders are paid hourly for every aspect of work related to section leading. Section leaders cross all disciplines, from American Studies to EE, Psychology to Bio, and, of course, CS.

Just look what section leaders have had to say:

"Section leading gives you a chance to work with other students, to share an area of study that interests you and to help them get out of it what you find so exciting, creative and rewarding. I love this job!"

"It's amazing how much I've learned through teaching"

"It's easy to get frustrated sometimes when you're bogged down with work in upper division classes. But section leading serves to continually remind me of what got me interested in computer science in the first place, and it keeps me going"

"Section leading is probably the best thing you can do in my opinion at Stanford. The key with founding or working at a company is that a few of you together can do more than the sum of what you can do individually. And being a section leader really is about communication and teaching and learning and understanding other people, and that gives you the set of skills you can use to build an awesome team." -- Mike Schroepfer, CTO at Facebook

"I love CS198. It changed my life." -- from the
CS198 Facebook Page 

I am ready to apply!

In order to qualify to be a section leader, you must have completed or be currently enrolled in CS106B, CS106X, or CS107, or have equivalent experience.

The section leading application for Autumn 2021 is not yet available. Check back later, or email
cs198@cs.stanford.edu if you have any questions about applying to section lead.
If you are are planning to spend the next quarter off-campus (e.g. for overseas studies), you may apply for CS198 before you leave and enroll in CS198 once you return. If you are currently off-campus for the quarter, please wait until you are back on campus to apply.

Before applying, be sure to read About the CS198 Program to familiarize yourself with the structure of CS198, particularly the responsibilities of the section leader position. In particular, ensure that:
  • You'll have room in your study list to enroll in 3-4 units of CS198 in your first quarter
  • You'll be able to attend CS106 staff meetings on Mondays from 5:00-6:00pm
  • For the first four weeks of the quarter, you'll be able to attend workshops (tentatively Monday 7:00-8:30PM and Wednesday 4:30-6:00PM or 7:00-8:30PM).
The online application consists of a few informational questions, a few code debugging questions, a few questions where you are asked to explain a CS topic to someone, and several short answer questions. We attempt to interview as many qualified applicants as possible, but, that said, we cannot, regrettably, interview everyone.

There are two interviews: a teaching interview and a technical interview. The teaching portion consists primarily of a fifteen-minute presentation of a typical section problem. Qualified teaching applicants will then be asked to come in for technical interview. The technical portion is a simulation of a LaIR helper shift, where the applicant plays the part of a course helper and helps correct an excerpt of buggy code. We look for demonstrated and potential teaching ability, effective communication skills, interpersonal skills, flexibility under pressure, enthusiasm, and strong technical ability.

For more information about the CS198 program, e-mail the coordinators, Erin McCoy, Kara Eng, and Trip Master, at cs198@cs.stanford.edu.