Resource Room Guidelines

The Resource Room (RR) is located in 312 Thaw Hall (pre-COVID) and is currently operating remotely via the Physics and Astronomy Discord. The purpose of the RR is to give assistance to students in physics and astronomy classes. If an astronomy question is beyond your expertise, please direct the students to any of the teaching assistants who are assigned to astronomy classes. View the RR Schedule.

The Physics Exploration Center (PEC) is adjacent to the Resource Room, however, the TAs are not required to work with students in the PEC.  TAs are, however, required to simply sign any PEC worksheet an undergraduate presents to them upon leaving the PEC.

All Teaching Assistants (TA) assigned to work in the Resource Room must appear for their scheduled time and arrive promptly. When nearing the end of a session, warn any undergraduates present a few minutes beforehand to avoid confusion.

When a visitor enters the Resource Room, best practices encourage the Teaching Assistants to go forward and introduce themselves. If occupied, the TA must inform the visitor to take a seat and that he/she will be with them shortly.

A few best practices are the following:

  • Students should be helped in such a way that they can work independently, each being giving fair attention and not simply given the answers. Students should find their own solutions.
  • For a difficult question, tell the student he/she may need to seek help with another TA. Direct the individual to a TA who can help them.
  • The Resource Room is not to be used for office hours. If a student asks for help from a TA's class, refer them to the official office hours posted in that class's syllabus.
  • If late, please contact the Graduate Administrator at 412-624-9066 or 9000 (  so that a warning may be given to other TA's and students. Students will complain if no TA is present in the Resource Room, which will reflect poorly on evaluations. 
  • Scrap paper will be made available from a box on the table in the photocopy room in Allen Hall. Anyone can take stacks for use in the Resource Room or in the Graduate Student offices  (500 Allen or elsewhere) when needed.

The Resource Room is to remain open during finals week in such cases where the TAs assigned time does not have a conflict with their own final exam. The DGS or Academic Operations Manager will modify the schedule as needed.