The Propedeutic Center – CePro

The mission of the Propaedeutic Center (CePro) is to facilitate the organization and running of the major service courses given in the first year, and in particular the corresponding exercise sessions. The courses concerned are: Analysis I and II, Linear Algebra, Mechanical Physics and Thermodynamics, General Chemistry and Advanced Information, Computation, Communication (ICC).

Its objectives are:

  • Coordination and management of Teaching Assistants (Student Assistants and Doctoral Assistants) for the courses concerned. Actions may include:
    • their recruitment, in close collaboration with the sections
    • their training before the course, in collaboration with the Teaching Support Centre (CAPE)
    • their follow-up during the semester
    • their evaluation at the end of the course, in collaboration with CAPE
    • their financial management, in close collaboration with the sections
  • Participation in teaching, according to the means available to the Center
  • Coordination of the technical and logistical organization of exams
  • Sharing of existing teaching resources and developing new ones, according to the needs of the sections
  • Management of technological tools, in collaboration with the Centre for Digital Education (CEDE)
  • Communication to the sections concerned of the proposed changes in course content

Short term

  • define and communicate clear rules for Teaching Assistants (Doctoral and Student Assistants)
  • support the First year committee (propaedeutic)
  • identify fixes for Fall 2021

Medium term

  • support the relevant first year courses (propaedeutic)
  • support first year students
  • train Teaching Assistants (Doctoral and Student Assistants)

Long term

  • create a community of teachers
  • promote innovation in teaching

CePro depends directly on the AVP-EDU. It is advised by a board consisting of the section directors providing the common courses (also known as service courses), the section director of the section receiving the service courses, the CAPE director, and the Associate Vice-President for Education. The committee defines the regularity of its meetings.

Currently, the focus is on the following common courses:

  • Linear Algebra
  • Analysis
  • Physics
  • ICC 

Each of these courses comprises 

  • ~2000 students
  • ~8 teachers
  • ~8 main TAs
  • 0-20 Doctoral Assistants 
  • 60-100 Student Assistants
    (including tutors)
  • 1 course coordinator 
  • (Soon) a CePro Partner

What does she/he do ?

  • Teaches a common course
  • supports the principal Teaching Assistants
  • trains Teaching Assistants under the supervision of CePro and CAPE
  • promotes innovation in teaching within the group

CePro also supports teachers in the preparation and automatic correction of examinations from a technical point of view. This service is also available to the other courses at EPFL, although with a limited level of support. More information can be found on the dedicated web pages.

Teaching Assistants need to be carefully trained and coached. CAPE and CePro have joined forces to offer training organised in three steps:

  • introductory session 
  • coaching during the semester (2 meetings)
  • concluding session

At the end of the course

  • Student Assistants get an attestation of participation (compulsory, 6h-8h)
  • Doctoral Assistants gets credits (2 ECTS in EDOC, elective)
  • The attestation includes a short evaluation from the teacher of the course.

Our team

Simone Deparis

Executive director & CePro Referent (Analysis I)

José Luis Zuleta

CePro Referent (Linear Algebra)

Sylvain Brechet

CePro Referent (Physics I)

Ludovic Bonivento

Systems Engineer (IT projects management, development and support for exam with automated correction)

Sylvie Bui

Exam Support