Neil Heffernan is a WILLIAM Smith Dean's PROFESSOR of computer science professor at WPI. He developed ASSISTments, a web-based learning platform, with his wife Cristina Heffernan.







Neil Heffernan: Director of Learning Sciences and Technologies at WPI

Neil Heffernan directs the Learning Sciences and Technologies PhD program at WPI. The program hiring multiple tenure-track faculty.

Neil Heffernan: Creator of ASSISTments


Dr. Heffernan and his wife Cristina Heffernan founded the ASSISTments platform in 2003. In 2019, The ASSISTments Foundation was formed to support the use of ASSISTments across the nation.

ASSISTments: a proven ed-tech Tool

Today, the platform assists thousands of students across the country to improve their math scores. To learn more, visit ASSISTments.

On September 27, 2019, ASSISTments was awarded $8 million from the U.S. Department of Education to scale ASSISTments. To support this project and Dr. Heffernan's 17 other currently funded projects totaling over $10 million dollars, ASSISTments is hiring people to join our growing team.

Neil Heffernan: Scientist

Dr. 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.

Dr. Heffernan is hosting a Data Mining Competition in collaboration with Our Nation's Report Card.

Neil Heffernan: Teacher

In addition to his research and work with ASSISTments, Dr. Heffernan teaches several undergraduate and graduate courses at WPI:

He rotates through these three graduate classes, teaching one each year.

  • Artificial Intelligence for Adaptive Educational Technology (CS 568). (Last taught Spring 2019)
  • User Modeling, which focuses on educational data mining (CS 565). (next to be taught in Spring of 2020)
  • Special Topics: Online Education (CS 525) (Plan to teach in the Spring of 2021)

Dr. Heffernan has also taught the AI class at the undergraduate level at least ten times. Due to his high research output the department does not expect him to teach that again until 2021-22.

  • Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (CS 4341) (taught Fall 2019, A Term)