Grants

Over the last 18 years, Dr. Heffernan's shared scientific infrastructure and student learning tools have benefited from over $30 million in grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), US Department of Education (DOE), the Office of Naval Research, the Spencer Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the US Army, multiple major philanthropy and the Massachusetts Technology Transfer Council. The grants listed below are worth a total of $54 million but Dr. Heffernan only counts the WPI portions. For the first decade Dr. Heffernan's annual research expenditures were in the range of $1-2 million per year, but over the past three years he has secured over $12 million in funding (or $4 million/year).

In 2016, prior to presenting at the White House, both NSF and DOE requested Dr. Heffernan share their history of support for the development of ASSISTments in promoting individualized learning.


  • GA45 (2019) Collaborative Research: Student Affect Detection and Intervention with Teachers in the Loop. Done with UMASS's Andrew Lan and UPENN's Ryan Baker. $750,000 (WPI portion = $250,000) Grant #1917713
  • GA44 (2019) ADVISOR. The first ASSISTments-related grant to fund computer science education. $300,000
  • GA43 (2019) Support to create the ASSISTments Foundation from an anonymous philanthropy. $1 million.
  • GA42 (2018) QUICK-COMMENTS from an anonymous philanthropy. $300,000
  • GA41 (2018) GAANN Elke Rundensteiner and I won a ~$900,000 award to fund US Ph.D. students in Artificial Intelligence (which I teach). Grant #P200A180088
  • GA40 (2018) NSF-Cyberlearning (1822830). "Putting Teachers in the Driver’s Seat: Using Machine Learning to Personalize Interactions with Students (DRIVER-SEAT)". With CoPI Jacob Whitehill (WPI). $750,000. Press Release.
  • GA39 (2018) ONR (N00014-18-1-2768)."A Bayesian Multi-Scale Personalized Learning Approach" with CoPI Jacob Whitehill (WPI). $400,000 (8/1/2018-7/31/2021)
  • GA38 (2018) IES (R305A180401): "From Here to There" Efficacy Trial. The PI is Erin Ottmar (WPI). $3.2 million.
  • GA37 (2018) NSF (1759229): "Personalizing Mathematics to Maximize Relevance and Skill for Tomorrow's STEM Workforce". PI is Candace Walkington (SMU) and Matt Bernaki at (UNC Chapel Hill). $1 million. Read Press about this.
  • GA36 (2017) IES (R305A170137): "Efficacy of ASSISTments Online Homework Support for Middle School Mathematics Learning: A Replication Study". US Department of Education: Institute for Education Sciences. The PI is Mingyu Feng (SRI). $3.2 million, WPI's share is $1.2 million.
  • GA35 (2017) IES (R305A170243): "Evaluating the Effectiveness of the ASSISTments Feedback System". US Department of Education: Institute for Education Sciences. PI Kirk Walters (AIR). $3.8 million, WPI's share is $1.5 million.
  • GA34 (2017) NSF (1724889): CIF21 DIBBs: "PD: Enhancing and Personalizing Educational Resources through Tools for Experimentation". PI Heffernan (WPI) & Korinn Ostrow (WPI). 7/1/2017-6/30/2020.
  • GA33 (2016) NSF (1636782): BD Spokes: Spoke: NorthEast: Collaborative: Grand Challenges for Data-Driven Education. NSF-Div Of Information & Intelligent Systems. NSF Program: BD Spokes -Big Data Regional Innovation Spokes. $430,000. 9/1/2016-8/31/2019.
  • GA32 (2015) (P200A150306). "GAANN Fellowships in Computer Science to Support Data-Driven Computing Research". US Department of Education PI Elke Rundensteiner (WPI). $900,000. 09/01/2015 - 08/31/2018.
  • GA31 (2015) NSF (1535428): "Collaborating Research: The Downside of Perseverance - Investigating and Moving Students Beyond Unproductive Persistence". NSF EHR Core. $500,000. 10/1/2015-9/30-2018.
  • GA30 (2015) “Integration of Intelligent Tutoring Systems for Electronics” Office of Naval Research. $170,000. 5/1/15 – 12/31/15.
  • GA29 (2014) NSF (1440753): SI2-SSE&SSI. "Adding Research Accounts to the ASSISTments Platform: Helping Researchers Do Randomized Controlled Studies with Thousands of Students". $500,000. 2014 - 2016.
  • GA28 (2013) NSF (DRL-1316736): DRK12 "Improving Formative Assessment Practices: Using Learning Trajectories to Develop Resources that Support Teacher Instructional Practice and Student Learning in CMP2". PI Allison Superfine Castro, Mara V. Martinez, Susan R. Goldman and James W. Pellegrino (UIC Chicago). $2.2 million, WPI's share is $350,000.
  • GA27 (2013) NSF (DRL-1252297): "Making Math Tutors More Engaging and Effective through Interaction Design Patterns and Educational Data Mining". PI Ryan Baker (UPenn). $1.5 million, WPI's share is $400,000.
  • GA26 (2012) Dr. Joe Beck wrote a grant to the Gates Foundation to add adaptive personalized learning to a WPI course. Dr. Heffernan is a CoPI on the project. $100,000.
  • GA25 (2012) Office of Naval Research. Two computer tutors will be combined. PI Beverly Woolf (UMass Amherst). $1.5 million award, WPI's share is $700,000. 2012 - 2014.
  • GA24 (2012) (R305A120125) Efficacy Trial: “An Efficacy Study of Online Mathematics Homework Support: An Evaluation of the ASSISTments Formative Assessment and Tutoring Platform.” PI Jeremy Roschelle (SRI). Read more here. $3.5 million award, WPI's share is $1.2 million. 2012 - 2016.
  • GA23 (2012) US Department of Education: GAANN. "Fellowships in CS to Support the Learning Sciences and Security". Awarded approximately $800,000 to support five Ph.D. students per year. 2012-2016.
  • GA22 (2011) "Next Generation Learning Challenge" through EDUCASUE. (The primary funders are the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Hewlett Foundation) ASSISTments: Using Web-Based Technologies to Support Grades Mathematics. $500,000. 2011 - 2012.
  • GA21 (2011) NSF (1109483): REESE Program. "Taking advantage of Cognitive Science Principles: Adding to a Computer-Based tutor an Automatic Reassessment and Relearning System (ARRS)". PI Joseph Beck (WPI), CoPI Heffernan. $750,000. 2011 - 2014.
  • GA20 (2011) NSF (1031398): ITEST Program. "Predicting STEM career choice from computational indicators of student engagement within middle school mathematics classes". PI Ryan Baker (UPENN), CoPI Dr. Heffernan. $700,000. 2011 - 2014.
  • GA19 (2010) (R305C100024) US Department of Education: Institute for Education Sciences. "National Center for Cognition and Mathematics Instruction (NCCMI)". WestEd was the project lead. Dr Heffernan's share was $500,000. 2010 - 2015.
  • GA18 (2009) (R305A090170) US Department of Education: Institute for Education Sciences: "ASSISTments Meets Science Learning". PI Janice Gobert (Rutgers) CoPIs Heffernan and Beck (WPI). $1.2 million. 2009 - 2012.
  • GA17 (2008) (0742503) NSF: GK12 Program. "Partnership Implementing Math and Science Education: Assisting Middle School Use of Tutoring Technology". $2 million. 2008 - 2013.
  • GA16 (2008) NSF: "Research Experience for Teachers Supplement". $20,000.
  • GA15 (2007) NSF (0733286): DRK-12. ASSISTments Meets Inquiry. PI Janice Gobert. Co-PIs Heffernan, Ruiz & Kim (WPI). $1.5 million. 2007 - 2012.
  • GA14 (2007) NSF Supplement Research Experience for Undergraduates. $13,500.
  • GA13 (2007) Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center. "Scaling up a Web-Based Formative Assessment System: Testing the Replicability of Deploying ASSISTments beyond its 'Home Town'". $40,000. 2007.
  • GA12 (2007) US Department of Education (R305A070440). "Making Longitudinal Web-Based Assessments Give Cognitively Diagnostic Reports to Teachers, Parents & Students While Employing Mastery Learning". PI Heffernan. $2 million. 2007 - 2011.
  • GA11 (2006) US Department of Education: GAANN. "Fellowships in CS to Support the Learning Sciences and Security". PI Matt Ward. Co-PIs Heffernan, Agu and Mani. Awarded approximately $800,000 to support five Ph.D. per year. 2006 - 2009.
  • GA10 (2006) National Science Foundation. Research Experience for K12. $100,000. PI Elke Rundensteiner (WPI). Co-PI Heffernan. 2006 – 2008.
  • GA9 (2005) National Science Foundation (0448319): CAREER Grant. "Learning About Learning". PI Dr. Heffernan. $646,000. 2005 – 2010.
  • GA8 (2005) Office of Naval Research (ONR). "Demonstrating Affordable Behavior Modeling with CTAT through Machine Learning and Human Computer Interaction Techniques". $275,000. 2005 - 2008.
  • GA7 (2004) US Army: Phase 2: STTR. PI Sonalysts, Inc. 2004. $500,000.
  • GA6 (2004) US Army: Phase 1: STTR. "How to incorporate intelligent tutoring into Army warrior simulation systems". PI Sonalysts Inc. 2004. $100,000.
  • GA5 (2003) Research Advancement Program at WPI: “Programming by Demonstration for Intelligent Tutoring Systems.” $7,500. 2003.
  • GA4 (2003) US Department of Education (R305K030140): Institute of Education Sciences. Using Web-Based Cognitive Assessment Systems for Predicting Student Performance on State Exams. PI Ken Koedinger. Co-PIs Heffernan, Junker and Ritter. $1.4 million. 2003 - 2007.
  • GA3 (2003) Office of Naval Research (ONR). "Affordable Cognitive Modeling Authoring Tools using HCI Methods. PI Heffernan". $200,000. 2003 - 2006.
  • GA2 (2002) Office of Naval Research (ONR). "Cognitive Tutor Tools for Advanced Instructional Strategies". PI Ken Koedinger. Co-PIs Heffernan & Aleven. $200,000. 2002.
  • GA1 (2002) National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation. "A Comparison of Student Learning Under Multiple Conditions: Classroom Instruction, One-on-one Human Tutoring, and Different types of Computer Tutoring". PI-Heffernan. $50,000. 2002 - 2004.