Professor Neil T. Heffernan

WPI Worcester Polytechnic Institute
ASSISTments & Research Related Issues
  • I currently am directing 10 different grant funded projects spending about a million a year.  And personally, I am looking for a post doc to work on three new grants.
  • I am well known for the web-based system I created called ASSISTments. You can learn more about ASSISTments from the NYTimes etc under the Press link. 
  • I have been working on ASSISTments since 2003.  If you just want to know if ASSISTments is better than traditional "business as usual" situations, then read these studies that showed strong evidence that the answer is "yes!"
  • This video explains the results from the efficacy trial of ASSISTments conducted by SRI and published in AERA Open
  • YouTube Video

  • Most folks think that ASSISTments is a great public service, and it is, but a less understood aspect of ASSISTments is it also used as a shared scientific instrument. See here for a piece I wrote on this.  Recently, in October 2016 I was asked to present at the White House. Here is what I prepared ahead of time and shared with the groups.  NSF has funded us to help other researchers run this own studies.  ASSISTments has been used, in partnership with a dozen others universities, as a shared scientific instrument to conduct randomized controlled trials comparing different ideas on how to improve student learning.  See these examples here. If you want to propose a randomized controlled trial to do inside ASSISTments, learn more here
    • We remove all personally identifiable information from our data sets and release them.  You can get access to all of our data here.  

Other stuff:
  • My students just released docASSIST, a google docs add-on. We also just released a Google App for Google Classroom to make it easy for schools to integrate with ASSISTments.  Some students are working on integrations with Schoology while the Edmodo integration is done. 
  • My CV has my Awards, Grants and Publications.
  • I am teaching at the graduate level  CS 568 in which students learn how to created smarter educational technology.
  • Teaching
    • At the graduate level, I rotate each year through these three classes, one class each year. 
      • I taught CS 568 to learn how to build smarter educational technology.
      • I taught CS 565 User Modeling.  That class focused on doing educational data mining.  
      • In the Fall, for 2015-16 I taught a special topics class on "online education"
    • I just finished teaching at the undergrad  Introduction to Artificial Intelligence in  2016 A Term.  Each year I teach one graduate class in my area and one undergraduate section of Artificial Intelligence.   The undergrad class takes just 7 weeks so that leaves me with lots of time to advise my PhD students on research.  

  • WPI's Marketing Department made this video about the work I do.