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Department News

2023 Departmental and Centennial Teaching Assistant Awards

This year our Graduation Cake Celebration was the scene of the announcement of these wonderful awards!

The Statistics Department Teaching Assistant Awards emphatically underscore Stanford's dedication to teaching excellence, not only by our faculty but also by our many talented teaching assistants. TAs are graduate students who lead review sessions, grade homework and exams, hold office hours, and in many other ways assist both the professor teaching the course and the students taking it. Some of these individuals make extraordinary contributions, and for that reason the following students were enthusiastically nominated by faculty, their peers and students for truly notable service this year.

Departmental Teaching Assistant Awards

Responsive and reliable don't begin to describe these individuals. The words "proactive", "communicative", "insightful", "approachable" and "awesome" tend to show up in reviews of their performance. They are described further as: instrumental to having a course run smoothly; demonstrating tremendous dedication to teaching concepts in a memorable way as well as an ability to connect with students; providing clear and thoughtful explanations to students in person, online, as part of written solutions and during impressively attended office hours. These skillful instructors provide an invaluable resource of their time, their care, and their personality that is impossible to overlook!

  • Isaac Gibbs
  • Michael Howes
  • Ben Seiler
  • Asher Spector
  • Julie Zhang

The Centennial Teaching Assistant Award

In alternating years students may also be nominated for the university's Centennial Teaching Assistant Award for excellence in teaching. The Statistics Department is proud to celebrate the achievements of two of our TAs who have been selected to received a Centennial Teaching Assistant Award in 2023.

Apratim Dey is described by students as "a stellar (and) amazing TA"; "incredibly dedicated and passionate, with a reputation as the 'go-to' TA when one is confused–providing clear, eloquent, understandable explanations." Faculty report that he is extremely friendly and kind, and that his patience makes students new to statistics feel comfortable asking questions and engaging in class. He is always fully prepared and clearly excels as a statistics teacher, running office hours for 12 people where each person feels they are getting individualized attention. "He made a night-and-day difference in my STATS 116/200 experiences."

Kevin Guo has consistently done an excellent job in mitigating students' difficulties in learning, and in curating fantastic problem sets to further improve their understanding of the subject. He explains challenging concepts very clearly — with more clarity than the professors, it was noted — concocting examples and going through painful derivations step-by-step. "He is simply phenomenal," stated one of his nominators. Students describe him as "incredibly kind, humble and patient", and added that "the cherry on top to all of this is his passion. Seeing a TA who knows and loves a subject as much as Kevin does is inspirational."

Congratulations to all our phenomenal awardees!