Graduate Students

For prospective graduate students, please visit the Ph.D. and MS opportunities page.

Past Ph.D. Students

Dr. Heffernan's Ph.D. students have gone on to work in academia and prestigious research institutions.

  1. Zach Pardos is now a tenure track professor at UC Berkeley. While at WPI he did some really great work on Bayesian Networks related research, wrote a number of papers, and won one of the KDD Cup Prizes.

  2. Mingyu Feng was a Research Scientist at SRI (a nonprofit research-focused institute that used to be called Stanford Research International). She just moved to WestEd. See this.

  3. YuTao Wang joined Google in September 2015. She did wonderful work in data mining and pushing the field to utilize this tool on many important topics such as how we can know if students have acquired knowledge rather than simply predict future performance. (Ph.D. Dissertation)

  4. Yue Gong is now at Facebook (WPI page, LS&T Page). Her work led to identifying, and naming, "wheel spinning" (with Joe Beck), which is the state of persisting but not productively. (We received an NSF grant around this idea of hers.)

  5. Jozsef Patvarczki graduated in 2012. He joined a startup in Silicon Valley that provides a Hadoop-as-a-Service. Hadoop is a scalable database, and his thesis focused on parallelizing databases. His most recent project was working for a new startup called CARET.

  6. Leena Razzaq is a great teacher at Northeastern University. Her research helped create ASSISTments!

  7. Doug Selent graduated in 2017 and is now a Teaching Professor at WPI. His Ph.D. dissertation is here.

  8. Siyuan Zhao is at Amazon.

  9. Seth Adjei just finished his Ph.D. in 2018 and teaches at Northern Kentucky University. He built PLACEments.

  10. Kim Kelly, a full-time public middle school teacher, completed her Ph.D. in 2018.

  11. Xiaolu Xiong created the Automated Reassessment and Relearning System. or Google Scholar

  12. Korinn Ostrow, who graduated in 2018, and then worked as Research Scientist at WPI. She was the Co-PI on several NSF grants. In 2021 she took a job at the EdTech company called Edmentun.

  13. Anthony Botelho (Graduated May 2019) also worked as a Research Scientist at WPI. He created QuickComments and DRIVER-SEAT. He helped write four funded proposals (worth $300,000, $300,000, $300,000 and $750,000) where he became CoPI or PI on these grants. In 2021 he took a tenure track job at the University of Florida, in the School of Education.

  14. Thanaporn "March" Patikorn (Graduated May 2021) (Computer Science PhD Program). He built TeacherASSIST. He also worked on this. He is now a professor in Thailand (the Thai Government funded his Undergraduate and PhD and as a requirement he is back in Thailand being a professors as required for his funding)

  15. John Erickson (Graduated May 2021) (Data Science PhD Program). His PhD dissertation is here. He is now a professor in Kentucky.

Current Students

My Current Ph.D. Students

  1. Xiwen Lu (Learning Sciences & Technology PhD Program)

  2. Ashish Gurung (Computer Science PhD Program)

  3. Renah Razzaq (Learning Sciences & Technology PhD Program)

  4. Ethan Prihar (Data Science PhD Program)

  5. Sami Baral (Computer Science PhD Program)

  6. Aaron Haim (Computer Science PhD Program)

  7. Russell Thompson (Computer Science PhD Program)

  8. Ethan Croteau (Computer Science PhD Program)

Full Time Public School Teachers

  1. William Hinckley

Current Master's Students

  1. Morgan Lee (Computer Science, BS/MS Program)

  2. Taylor Cox (Computer Science, BS/MS Program)

Past masters students

Click here to view all graduate student theses.

Recent Master's Alumni

  1. Xiaolu Xiong (Joe Beck is his primary advisor, but his work on ARRS is part of ASSISTments)

  2. Yan Wang

  3. Eric VanInwegen

  4. Biao Yin

  5. Liang Zhang

  6. Paritosh Goel

  7. Meghana V. Kasal

  8. John A-Vant

  9. Jacob Kossimer

  10. Steve McAteer

  11. Ke Shao

  12. Ashvini Varatharaj (graduated August 2020)

  13. Taylor Stefovic (graduated May 2021)

  14. Jack Gonsalves (graduated May 2021)

  15. Joan Wong (graduated December 2020)

  16. Hung Hong (graduated May 2021)

  17. Priyanka Benachamardi (graduated May 2021)

  18. Zonglin Peng (graduated December 2020)

  19. Jason King (graduated May 2021)

  20. Arron Alphonsus (graduated May 2021)

  21. Zekun Dai (graduated May 2021)

  22. Rahul Jakhmola (graduated August 2021, Data Science Program)

  23. Raysa Rivera-Bergollo (graduated May 2022)