Neil Heffernan is the "WILLIAM Smith Dean's PROFESSOR" of computer science at WPI. He developed ASSISTments, a web-based learning platform, with his wife Cristina Heffernan.
Funding for Researchers:
There is a funding opportunities I want to make folks aware of.
Have you ever wanted to run an experiment to improve math learning with thousands of K12 students, but did not have the money or platform or the students? Good news! IES is giving away 10 grants, each for $400,000, to support such efforts! IES already funded 5 platforms to add support for researchers (and my ASSISTments platform is one of them). If you want to read what IES has already released, see this. Applications will be due February 23rd, 2023. If you want to come to our webinar on September 30th, 2022 at 12 PM EST. Learn more here.
Neil Heffernan: Director of Learning Sciences and Technologies Program at WPI
Heffernan directs the Learning Sciences and Technologies program at WPI. The program is currently hiring multiple tenure-track faculty.
Neil Heffernan: Creator of ASSISTments
Dr. Heffernan and his wife Cristina Heffernan founded ASSISTments in 2003. In 2019, The ASSISTments Foundation was formed to promote the use of ASSISTments across the nation.
Today, ASSISTments assists thousands of students across the country to improve their math scores. To learn more, visit ASSISTments. The What Works Clearinghouse gave us the highest ranking possible.
On December 15, 2021, we got a second 8 million dollar grant. To support this, and Dr. Heffernan's 17 other currently funded projects, are hiring people, both at WPI and at the ASSISTments Foundation.
What does ASSISTments look Like? Here are two videos that explain.
Neil Heffernan: Scientist
Heffernan is an active researcher in the fields of educational data mining and learning analytics. In order to support research in these fields, Dr. Heffernan created the E-TRIALS Testbed, a tool that allows ASSISTments to be used as a platform to do science and support evidence-based practice.
Additionally, Heffernan has been hosting educational data mining competitions like this one on in collaboration with Our Nation's Report Card.
Heffernan was asked to give the keynote to the Artificial Intelligence in Education 2020 Conference where he explained ASSISTments and his vision for crowdsourcing.
Neil Heffernan: Teacher
For over a decade Dr. Heffernan has been teaching one undergraduate AI class (Introduction to Artificial Intelligence: CS 4341) and one graduate course in his area (rotating between the three course listed below).
He rotates through these three graduate classes, teaching one each year:
Special Topics: Online Learning Infrastructure (CS 525) (Last taught Fall 2020, next expected to be taught in 2023-24, probably Fall semester)
Artificial Intelligence for Adaptive Educational Technology (CS 568). (Last taught Fall 2021, next expected to be taught in 2024-25)
User Modeling, which focuses on educational data mining (CS 565). (Last taught Fall 2022, next expected to be taught in 2025-26)
He teaches at the undergraduate level this class:
Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (CS 4341) (last taught Fall 2019, A Term).
I was excited to help host workshops at L@S on AB Testing (June 1st), and at AIED/EDM on Causal Inference on July 27th.
New Press, August 3rd on our TeacherASSIST called "A crowdsourcing approach to homework help" by Jill Barshay. More details here