International Teaching Assistant (ITA) Exam- 3 mins
International Teaching Assistant (ITA) Exam
- A brief interview in which you talk about your educational experience and interest in graduate studies at USC. (3-5 minutes)
- An explanation of a term or concept (approximately 7 minutes). Two terms or concepts will be sent to you 24 hours prior to the exam so that you can prepare a simulated classroom presentation on one of those terms or concepts.
- Option to choose ONE of the following tools in your presentation:
- a maximum of 2 power point slides
- a physical blackboard or a white board
- a smart board or Zoom whiteboard
- The examiners will act as students and will ask questions about the term.
In addition to providing a definition and explaining the importance of your term, it is recommended that your presentation include one or more of the following:
- Examples (practical and/or personal)
- Analogies (e.g. “The structure of an atom is similar to that of the solar system.”)
- Comparisons and/or contrasts
- Word origin (meanings of prefix, suffix, root)
- Drawings or diagrams
There are about 100 topics for Electrical Engineering. I am more familiar with the topics related to circuits, communication and networks than the topics related to physics.
Familiar (49): Adder Design, Ripple Carry Adder vs. Carry Look-Ahead Adder; AM (amplitude modulation); AND gate; bandwidth; bit rate; Boolean expression; capacitance; Circuit analysis; CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) logic; continuous time system; current source; determinant of a matrix; discrete time system; DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory); encoder; Flash Memory; flip-flop; FM (frequency modulation); FOR-loop, WHILE-loop, recursive function call; full-adder; Half-Adder, Full-Adder, Ripple-Carry Adder; Karnaugh map; Kirchhoff’s current law; Kirchhoff’s voltage law; Laplace transform; Latches, Flip-Flops, Counters; linear circuit; Linear equivalence circuit; Logic gate; matrix; Multiplexer; NOT function; Observability; Ohm’s law; OR gate; Phasor diagram; probability density; random variable; random-access memory; resistance; ROM (Read Only Memory), RAM (Random Access Memory); Semiconductor; sensor; signal generator; signal-to-noise ratio; Synchronous systems – Clock and Clock Skew; Timing analysis of a digital circuit; Transmission gate in VLSI; voltage source
- Known (14): Ampere’s law; diffusion current; error probability; feedback control system; filters (low-pass, band-pass, …); Fourier series; Fourier transforms; frequency response; Impulse of response; impulse response; inductance; modulation and demodulation; packet; step response
Not familiar (21): assembler; assembly language; balanced three-phase circuit; Bus Arbitration, Fixed priority vs. Round-robin priority; electromagnetic wave; FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays); ground reference; high-level language; Interrupt driven I/O (input/output) vs. Program driven I/O; local-area network; Maxwell’s equations; Mesh current; Microprocessor; oscilloscope; Potential energy barrier; protocol; resonant circuit; Sinusoidal steady-state analysis; stability criteria; subroutine; wide-area network
- Unknown (15): accelerometer; actuator; asynchronous detection; closed-loop control; compiler; content-addressable memory; diode detector; Magnetism; open-loop control; Output-rate control; Permeability; recursive filter; root-locus; Rotating field; Tachometer generator
During the Exam
Two examiners attended the exam. One of them had a brief chat with me about my experience and research, and another one asked several questions during my presentation about bit rate.
Your speaking should be clear, fluent, and with good intonation. Compared with the technical content, they are more concerned with how you deliver the content and how you handle with the questions. Also, they expect to see your passion and confidence.
After the Exam
I got 5.5 out of 7 and I am required to take one language course from ALI. It is a good experience and I have already learned a lot from Lucienne.