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.
  10. Kim Kelly, a full-time public middle school teacher, completed her Ph.D. in 2018.
  11. Korinn Ostrow, who graduated in 2018, is now a Research Scientist at WPI where she is the Co-PI on a grant she lead with me obtained in the last year of her graduate program. Since then she has helped raise $2.5 million dollars in external funding.
  12. Anthony Botelho (Graduated May 2019) works as a Research Scientist at WPI. He helped write four funded proposals (worth $300,000, $300,000, $300,000 and $750,000) where he is now CoPI on these grants.

Current Students

My Current Ph.D. Students

  1. Thanaporn "March" Patikorn (Started 2015) (Computer Science PhD Program)
  2. Xiwen Lu (Learning Sciences & Technology PhD Program)
  3. John Erickson (Data Science PhD Program)
  4. Ashish Gurung (Computer Science PhD Program)
  5. Renah Razzaq (Learning Sciences & Technology PhD Program)
  6. Ethan Prihar (Data Science PhD Program)
  7. Rahul Jakhmola (Data Science PhD Program)
  8. Arron Alphonsus (Computer Science PhD Program)
  9. Aaron Haim

Full Time Public School Teachers

  1. William Hinckley

Current Master's Students

  1. Ashvini Varatharaj (graduated August 2020)
  2. Taylor Stefovic
  3. Jack Gonsalves
  4. Joan Wong
  5. Hung Hong
  6. Priyanka Benachamardi
  7. Zonglin Peng

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