Grad Stu Instr-FA23 Honors 202

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How to Apply

Candidates should submit a cover letter and CV through the UM jobs portal. Note: All documents should be submitted as one (1) PDF.

Course Description

The LSA Honors Program invites applications to teach a discussion section of Honors Core 202: The Transistor Disruption: How a Tiny Tool Transforms Society and Science, beginning August 28, 2023. The course meets together with the COMPFOR 101 lecture taught by Professor August Evrard. Position is pending enrollment demand.

Modern humans live in two worlds ? the physical and the digital ? but considering the arc of human history this duality emerged in a flash. What happened? In large part, a simple switching device invented in the 1940s ? the transistor ? is responsible for disrupting how we live and how science advances. Transistors shrank exponentially in both size and cost since their creation, to the point where a single computer chip today has 15 times as many transistors as there are people on planet Earth.

This introductory survey course reveals The Pattern on the Stone, the foundational elements of digital computing explained in a book of the same name by Danny Hillis, a pioneer in computing education and parallel computing. Students are introduced to logic gates and their hierarchical organization to create computing circuits and communication networks. Topics surveyed may include: early analog and human computers, systems and models, interoperability and standards, scaling and parallel computing, encryption and cryptography, heuristics and algorithms, Turing machines, machine learning, quantum computing, and the politics of computer chips. Along the way, Michigan?s roles in development of computing will be highlighted. The close relationship between computing and mathematics is revealed through a few specific examples such as the sine, power-law, and sigmoid functions. Students will learn through readings, in-class exercises and discussions, quizzes aimed at reinforcing readings, and essays. No prior experience with computing is needed, but prior experience with the digital is a given.


Effort for the section is 50%. The GSI will teach one discussion section. The GSI will attend lectures, lead a discussion section of the larger course, hold office hours, and grade course work. The GSI for this course will also participate in meetings of the teaching team for general guidance, lesson planning, and assignment norming. GSIs in the Honors Core are expected to participate in occasional events for Core courses including the Honors GSI Orientation taking place in late August.

Required Qualifications*

Good standing in a graduate or professional program in a relevant department.

Desired Qualifications*

Candidacy in a Ph.D. program in a relevant department; experience teaching introductory courses at UM or other college or university. A background in digital studies or computing technology is preferred but not required.

Contact Information

Contact Lisa Broome, Associate Director, LSA Honors Program, at with questions.

Decision Making Process

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until positions are filled.

Selection Process

Selected applicants will be invited to interview. When decisions are made, an offer letter will be authorized.

GEO Contract Information

The University will not discriminate against any applicant for employment because of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, genetic information, marital status, familial status, parental status or pregnancy status, sex, gender identity or expression (whether actual or perceived), sexual orientation, age, height, weight, disability, citizenship status, veteran status, HIV antibody status, political belief, membership in any social or political organization, participation in a grievance or complaint whether formal or informal, medical conditions including those related to pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, arrest record, or any other factor where the item in question will not interfere with job performance and where the employee is otherwise qualified. The University of Michigan agrees to abide by the protections afforded employees with disabilities as outlined in the rules and regulations which implement Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Information for the Office for Institutional Equity may be found at and for the University Ombuds at

Unsuccessful applications will be retained for consideration in the event that there are last minute openings for available positions. In the event that an employee does not receive their preferred assignment, they can request a written explanation or an in-person interview with the hiring agents(s) to be scheduled at a mutually agreed upon time.

This position, as posted, is subject to a collective bargaining agreement between the Regents of the University of Michigan and the Graduate Employees' Organization, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO 3550.

Standard Practice Guide 601.38, Required Disclosure of Felony Charges and/or Felony Convictions applies to all Graduate Student Assistants (GSAs). SPG 601.38 may be accessed online at , and its relation to your employment can be found in MOU 10 of your employment contract.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.