Highlighted Press

EdWeek (direct) This opinion piece argues the US should study more to learn what works. They end with "We already have promising evidence that some programs, when paired with thoughtful implementation and supports, can have powerful impacts. For example, randomized evaluations found that ASSISTments—a virtual math-homework support—significantly improved math scores despite only being used for about 10 minutes several days a week. Students with low prior math achievement benefited the most."

US News & World Report US News and World Report picked up MIT's review of all Ed Tech. MIT researchers called ASSISTments one of the two most promising interventions in the US.

Scientific American Read about ASSISTments' ability to give an early warning system to schools about who is likely to lose interest in STEM or who is at danger of not going to college.

The New York Times Magazine - September 16, 2012. Read Annie Murphy Paul's story about the origins of ASSISTments and how it is helping students learn.

Here & Now - June 21, 2011. Listen to Robin Young's interview. 

The Boston Globe - May 5, 2011. Read Yvonne Abraham's column about how my brain tumor fueled the birth of ASSISTments and why it's free.

The Bangor Daily News - December 21, 2012. Read Nick McCrea's article about the Bangor schools' participation in a $3.5 million study in Maine where the governor provides laptops to all middle school students.


O3      Heffernan, N. (2018). Ed Tech Does Help Close the Achievement Gap — When It Supports Teachers. The 74 Million. Published May 29, 2018. Retrieved from

O2      Heffernan, N. (2016). Researchers need to collaborate to address the challenges facing schools. The Brookings Institute. Published Thursday, October 8, 2015.  Retrieved from

O1      Heffernan, N. (2012). Ensuring Homework’s value. Boston Herald. Opinion. Published Saturday, May 12, 2012. Retrieved from

Newspaper Articles

PRESS31        The New Scientists Hate exams? Now a computer can grade you by watching you learn. January, 2, 2016 by Aviva Rutkin

PRESS30        TED Ideas - There no app for good teaching - Sept 14, 2014 by Laura Moorhead.

PRESS29        Open Mic On Education - Sept 1, 2014 - Alan Rudt Video

PRESS28        New York Times Magazine - Sept 14, 2012 - ASSISTments was the focus of a three page story entitled "The Machines are Taking Over"
PRESS27        Columbia University Teachers College Magazine - May 17, 2012 - ASSISTments was featured in an article called “Pushing the Right Buttons” by Joe Levine
PRESS26        Walpole Times - February 16, 2012 - "Walpole teachers get an 'assist' from homework software" by Veronica Hamlett
PRESS25        Hometown Weekly - February 17, 2012 - ASSISTing Students in School Proves to be Beneficial by Lindsay Budnik 
PRESS24        The Daily Grafton - January 23, 2011 - Grafton Students Get a Hand from ASSISTments
PRESS23        Metro West - Oct. 3, 2011 - Homework program catches on in MetroWest by Scott O'Connell
PRESS22        Boston Globe - May 5, 2011 - A gift born from peril. by Yvonne Abraham
PRESS21        The Two Towers - April 5, 2011 - Professor of the week- Neil Heffernan: Exploring frontiers of education with cutting edge technology.
PRESS20 - March 3, 2011 - Web-based tutor gives math class a new feel.
PRESS19        ScienceDaily - Feb. 14, 2011 - Year-End Test Scores Significantly Improved in Schools Using Web-Based Tutor
PRESS18        The Ellsworth American - January 18, 2011 - "Learning Curve" by Cyndi Wood from Bangor, Maine.

PRESS17        Education Week - January 21, 2010Data Mining' Gains Traction in Education by Sarah D. Sparks. This made the front page of EdWeek. This article talks about the Education Data Mining Conference Heffernan helped start. It also cites the work of Heffernan’s colleague Ryan Baker.  
PRESS17        Education Week - December 13, 2010 -Data Mining' Gains Traction in Education by Sarah D. Sparks.  
PRESS16        Worcester Telegram & Gazette - June 3, 2010Homework Helper: Web program gives students, teachers a jump on class assignments by Priyanka Dayal. 
PRESS15        Worcester Telegram citation for award from School Committee.
PRESS14        Boston Globe - January 10, 2008 - U.S. gives $1.5 million for science tutoring.
PRESS13        Worcester Telegram & Gazette - January 10, 2008 - New WPI System.
PRESS12        Worcester Telegram & Gazette - August 23, 2007 - WPI projects win NSF grants: Work on science education, tiny sensors receive funding by Jacqueline Reis.
PRESS11 In the News - July/August, 2007 - Intelligence Tutors Make the Grade talked about ASSISTments and other Intelligent tutoring systems. IEEE Intelligent System  by Mark Ingebretsen.
PRESS10        Worcester Business Journal - June 2007 - WPI Tutor Program is Money in the Bank by Matthew Brown.
PRESS9          Telegram & Gazette - May 26, 2007 - WPI receives $2M ‘assist’ for tutoring. by Telegram & Gazette Staff.
PRESS8          ACM TechNews - May 23, 2007 - WPI Receives $2 Million Award to Develop an Intelligent Tutoring System That Can Improve Math Education.
PRESS7          Transformations - Fall 2006 - Assessing the Odds by Michael W. Dorsey.
PRESS6          The Worcester Educator - Spring 2006 - Professor’s preparation program adds up to better MCAS math scores by Gretchen Weber.
PRESS5          U.S. News & World Report - November 11, 2005 - Enter the Computer Tutor: PCs Can Help Kids Pass No Child Left Behind Tests. by Angie C. Marek.
PRESS4          Telegram & Gazette - December, 2005 - Schools, sponsors teaming up for TV ads by Jacqueline Reis
PRESS3          Telegram & Gazette - August 11, 2005 - WPI asst. profs awarded grants by Mallary Jean Tenore.
PRESS2          Telegram & Gazette - May 23, 2005 - Assistment’ makes the grade by Jacqueline Reis.
PRESS1          Telegram & Gazette - January 14, 2004 - Pupils to get online help with MCAS by Clive McFarlane.

Radio and Television

RT5           Interviewed on National Public Radio by Robin Young of the Here and Now show - June 2, 2010 - Listen.

RT4           Interviewed on WDIS-AM out of Norfolk, MA by Dan Collier - June 2, 2010 - Listen.

RT3           Prof. Neil Heffernan gets coverage by WPI: A short clip by WPI's TEAM Worcester featuring the ASSISTment system. Archived at:

RT2           580 AM, WTAG interview by Greg Byrne - August 11, 2005 - This is a 55 second audio clip of an  interview about how my $900,000, NSF CAREER award is going to impact Massachusetts 8th and 10th grade math students. Archived at:

RT1           "Prof. Neil Heffernan makes huge impact," NECN Nightly News - May 23, 2005 - A two minute clip showing students at Forest Grove Middle School, and their math teacher, using and talking about the Assistment System. Archived at: